Fall  2017 
A benefit to support
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
6:30 pm ▪ Valley Regency ▪ Clifton, NJ
(The deadline to place an ad is October 20 at noon.)
Spotlight on Service: Karen Edler

For a parent, the process of securing appropriate services for a child in school can often be overwhelming, intimidating, and exhausting.  After experiencing this firsthand, Karen Edler has become a powerful advocate for parents who desperately need help understanding and navigating their children's education rights.

Karen is of counsel at Price Meese Shulman & D'Arminio, P.C.  She has nearly twenty years of education law experience, and has been a volunteer with VLJ's Children's Representation Program (CRP), from taking pro bono cases to serving as a mentor for attorneys new to the area of law, since just after its establishment.

Karen obtained her undergraduate degree from Dickinson College and her law degree from New York Law School.  She then worked in several different law firms, practicing in tax law, commercial real estate and leasing, and litigation.  After her children were born, she took time off from work.  When Karen's son was in second grade, however, he began struggling in math class and needed extra support.  Karen's experience in trying to obtain services from the school district opened her eyes to a frustrating and confusing process, even when she knew her legal rights.  "I realized how difficult battling a school district can be," Karen says.  "I thought, 'What do parents do who don't have the ability to read and learn the law?  How does anyone survive?'"

ABA PRO BONO WEEK WITH VLJ: Oct.  22nd to Oct. 28th

At VLJ, we celebrate pro bono work every day, but we are especially excited to participate in the American Bar Association's Pro Bono Week Celebration next week (October 22nd to 28th).  The goals of the celebration include recruiting more pro bono volunteers, increasing legal services to poor and vulnerable people, mobilizing community support for pro bono, fostering collaborative relationships, and recognizing the pro bono efforts of America's lawyers.
Next week, VLJ will hold three legal clinics with some of our corporate partners: the PSEG Veterans Legal Clinic, the Prudential Bankruptcy Intake Clinic, and our Veterans Legal Wellness Clinic, which is in partnership with BASF and Panasonic Corporation of North America.  In addition, we have two exciting opportunities for new volunteers to learn more about VLJ and our pro bono opportunities:
Tuesday, October 24
New Volunteer Orientation (Webinar)
12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Join us for a free continuing legal education seminar designed to provide attorneys with information about VLJ, our volunteer opportunities, and how to effectively and ethically assist pro bono clients. Earn 1 NJ ethics CLE credit and learn more about how to be a great VLJ volunteer.   Click here to register.
Thursday, October 26

Essex County Bar Association's 2017 Professionalism Day
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
The Honorable Sallyanne Floria, A.J.S.C. leads an overview and discussion of the attorney discipline process and other professionalism issues facing attorneys as officers of the court.  McCarter & English's Nicholas Insua and VLJ's Jessica Kitson join the panel to discuss pro bono work, including assignments under Madden as well as tips for effectively handling pro bono matters.  For more information, please visit www.essexbar.com.

Also, if you haven't yet, be sure to check out the October 2017 issue of New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, which focuses entirely on pro bono and features several articles by VLJ staff and volunteer attorneys.

Meet VLJ's Newest  Staff Member: 
Taniesha Bermudez-Mitchum

Taniesha joined VLJ in August as an Intake Assistant.  Before joining VLJ, Taniesha worked from home as a consultant while homeschooling her daughter.  Taniesha, who is proficient in Spanish, previously served as a bilingual caseworker for DCPP, and also taught English in South Korea.  She also has over 20 years of customer service experience.  Taniesha was born and raised in Newark and has lived in the city her whole life.  She enjoys giving back to her community, and is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.  Taniesha graduated from Montclair State University with a BA in Justice Studies, concentrating in the Justice System, with a minor in Sociology.  She is currently working towards her MSW at Rutgers University School of Social Work.


Volunteer Lawyers for Justice | (973) 645-1955
 | www.vljnj.org