South Jersey Legal Services
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Pro Bono Opportunities

SJLS Private Attorney Involvement Program

The Private Attorney Involvement Program (PAI) of South Jersey Legal Services, Inc. (SJLS) assists income-eligible clients within the SJLS service area. SJLS focuses on tailoring county-specific PAI programs in our unique mixed urban/rural service area while concurrently developing program-wide projects, which both unify and expand services throughout the SJLS area. PAI seeks to empower low-income individuals to access the judicial system so they will achieve the greatest possible measure of substantive, procedural and economic justice through the provision of high quality, cost efficient, innovative and effective pro bono civil legal assistance.

PAI may refer cases to pro bono attorneys in any area within SJLS’s program priorities including government benefits, family law, landlord/tenant issues, health law, consumer and finance law, employment law, individual rights and other civil law matters. The majority of PAI cases placed are Chapter 7 bankruptcies, no fault divorces, wills, powers of attorney, living wills and children’s supplemental security income cases although PAI places cases in many of the above areas as needed.

Pro bono attorneys provide advice, brief service and full representation through individual referrals as well as through clinic settings. Pro bono attorneys also provide community legal education services and participate in trainings for our various programs. Pro bono attorneys may also volunteer in-house, providing a range of services from advice appointments to full representation.

PAI assists volunteer attorneys in every way possible to guarantee that high quality legal assistance is provided to clients. SJLS provides malpractice insurance at no cost for the duration of the client’s case and sample pleadings and forms to be used as models when requested by the pro bono attorney. PAI provides attorneys with training or participates in trainings both in conjunction with Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) and project-specific training. PAI provides reimbursement of litigation expenses and out-of-pocket expenses.

PAI has many specialty projects available to pro bono attorneys. In The Honorable Judith H. Wizmur Pro Bono Bankruptcy Project, law students and members of the bankruptcy bar and bench work together to assist Chapter 7 debtors. PAI also refers individual bankruptcies to attorneys outside of this Project. The Divorce Project assists individuals with no-fault, no issue divorces. The Children’s Supplemental Security Income Project assists low-income children to secure disability benefits. The SJLS Guardianship Project for Children assists parents of disabled children who reside in Atlantic and Cape May counties with obtaining guardianships prior to their children turning 18 years of age. The Family Assist project provides 30-minute advice consultations to individuals residing in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties in need of family law advice. PAI conducts Debt Advice Seminars/Clinics in various counties during which volunteer attorneys provide information on how to respond to a Summons and Complaint, debt negotiation procedures, bankruptcy and other debtors’ rights. The Burlington County Wills Project handles Wills, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills for individuals in Burlington County - PAI also refers these cases in other counties to participating attorneys on our panel. The Expungement Project assists individuals who need expungements often to gain better employment.

To join our PAI team, please contact Michelle T. Nuciglio, Esq., Director of Pro Bono Services at SJLS, at (856) 964-2010 ext. 6229 or

 

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