Spring  2018 

Dear Friends,
I attended a conference last week during which the attendees created a word cloud to describe the impact of the program we were discussing. A word cloud describing VLJ might look something like:

What other words would you add?
Champion? VLJ held a recognition event in March to thank our volunteers, our champions. Pro bono work takes a village to complete successfully; it only works well with coordinated efforts of volunteers, community service providers, funders, and staff. But the results can be life-changing. Be sure to check out the gallery of photos from that event and think about joining us at our next event, the Summer Soiree, on June 21st.
Success? VLJ's numbers for 2017 paint a picture of our most successful year so far:
  • 520 lawyers volunteered with VLJ
  • 4,400 people were assisted through VLJ's 11 programs
  • $2.3 million dollars in free legal services were provided to VLJ clients
  • 15 amazingly talented women are now on staff at VLJ
Committed? When you learn more about Kelly Lloyd Lankford and Kaitlyn Stone, the new co-chairs of VLJ's young professionals committee, Generation Now, hear about the pro bono work of Peggy Jurrow who is being honored at the ECBA Annual Dinner, and meet VLJ's newest staff attorneys, you will have no doubt that "committed" is a word that describes them all. 
Thanks? Without your volunteer commitment, your referrals, your financial support, your time, and your passion for providing access to justice to those without a voice in New Jersey's legal system, VLJ would not have been able to help 4,400 people last year. On behalf of VLJ's staff and clients, THANK YOU!

Kindest regards,
Cathy Keenan
Executive Director
Volunteer of the Month: Kelly Lloyd Lankford

For a new attorney, several reasons might serve as deterrents to taking on a pro bono case: it might be a lot of work; it's likely an area of law the attorney knows little about; or maybe it's just difficult to know where to begin. Kelly Lloyd Lankford has experienced firsthand the benefits of pro bono work, and wants to reassure other young attorneys that it is a positive endeavor.

Kelly is a Senior Managing Associate at Dentons. She is a member of the firm's Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice and insurance sector group, representing clients in an array of complex commercial disputes. Kelly has volunteered with VLJ for the past several years and recently accepted a position as co-chair of VLJ's Generation Now Committee, made up of young professionals who plan fundraisers, volunteer recognition, and networking events on behalf of VLJ. 

VLJ would like to introduce long-time, dedicated volunteers Kelly Lloyd Lankford of Dentons US LLP and Kaitlyn Stone of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, who will serve as Co-Chairs of VLJ's Generation Now Committee.

JUNE 21, 2018
6:30 - 9:30 PM

Essex Fells Country Club
219 Devon Road 
Essex Fells, NJ 07021

NOVEMBER 14, 2018
6:30 - 9:30 PM

Valley Regency
1129 Valley Road 
Clifton, NJ 07013


Thank you to all who joined us Wednesday, March 14th for VLJ's Volunteer Appreciation Event and to those who volunteered last year but were unable to make it. It was great to be able to celebrate 
the life-changing work you each do throughout the year to support VLJ and our clients - THANK YOU!

Because of all of you, in 2017:
  • 4,400 people were assisted through VLJ's 11 pro bono programs
  • 520 pro bono attorneys volunteered their time and expertise
  • 6,757 volunteer hours were reported
Thank you again for your support!
VLJ Puts Veterans Back On The Road, Back To Their Lives
Alfred, a father of 3, served 16 years in the Army and was honorably discharged. He came to the PSEG Veterans Clinic for help restoring his driver's license, which was suspended due to parking tickets and fines in 5 different towns. Without a driver's license, his work commute was taking 6 hours a day by public transportation and he was unable to see his daughters during his allotted parenting time. Alfred met a legal team who drafted letters to the 5 courts requesting that parking tickets and surcharges from those tickets be dismissed. Three courts dropped all of the fines, 2 others reduced them dramatically, and his license was restored - effectively cutting his commute in half! Alfred praised his PSEG legal team, "The judges respected and appreciated the letters and they were extremely effective. I am very thankful I was at the right place at the right time to find VLJ and their lawyers. My life has improved immensely." Alfred is now able to spend time with his daughters and has started expanding his job skills by taking resume-building workshops.
Thank you to our volunteer attorneys for helping to secure these recent wins, and many more!
  • A volunteer attorney from Gibbons P.C. negotiated with the school district to help Daria, an 18-year-old blind, deaf, and autistic student, continue attending her school for the blind after moving from New York to New Jersey.  
  • After meeting with volunteer attorneys from Day Pitney LLP and BASF Corporation, veteran Burton negotiated down his child support arrearages, and got 120 day stay of enforcement, allowing him time to get back on his feet.
  • A Lowenstein Sandler LLP attorney helped Benjamin, a tenant facing eviction, settle his eviction case which enabled him to lower his rent and stay in his home. 
Meet VLJ's Newest  Staff:  Allison Nolan,  Nari Wang, and Jaclyn Kramer
VLJ is pleased to welcome two new staff attorneys and a new Development Director this quarter!

Allison Nolan joined VLJ in February. She  is a staff attorney who oversees the Tenancy Clinic and Consumer Law Program. Allison is a member of the Essex County Bar Young Lawyers Section. Prior to joining VLJ, Allison was an associate at Lum, Drasco & Positan, where she practiced civil litigation. Allison previously clerked for Hon. Margaret Mary McVeigh, P.J.Ch. (Ret). Allison received her bachelor's degree from Villanova University and her law degree from Cornell Law School, where she was a managing editor of the Legal Information Institute's Supreme Court Bulletin

Nari Wang joined VLJ in February. She  is a staff attorney who oversees the Bankruptcy Program and handles issues relating to child support as they arise in other programs.  Prior to joining VLJ, Nari was a litigation associate at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, where she maintained an active pro bono docket and served as an Alan V. Lowenstein Fellow, working as a housing attorney at Essex Newark Legal Services.   Prior to attending law school, Nari was a paralegal case handler at the Legal Aid Society in New York City, where she assisted low-income New Yorkers with accessing their public health care benefits.  Nari received her Bachelor's Degree from Dartmouth College and her law degree from Rutgers Law School, magna cum laude, where she was named to the Order of the Coif and was a Research Editor for the Rutgers Law Review.

Jaclyn Kramer joined VLJ in March. She is the Development Director at Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, an integral member of the management team who leads the organization's efforts to raise critical funding for VLJ's programs and services.

Jaclyn has worked in development for nine years and prior to joining VLJ, she was a Development Manager at Covenant House International, where she was responsible for raising high-level gifts. Jaclyn also worked for Human Rights First, New York Institute of Technology, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the West Point Association of Graduates. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement. Jaclyn graduated from Providence College.

Congratulations, Peggy Jurow!
VLJ congratulates VLJ volunteer Peggy Jurow on her receipt of the Essex County Bar Association's 2018 Bernard Kuttner Pro Bono Award! Peggy started her own firm with Rebecca Schore, Jurow & Schore, LLC, in 2013, where she focuses on consumer matters and foreclosure defense for middle income people who may not qualify for free legal service. In addition to maintaining her own practice, Peggy has been an avid volunteer for Legal Services of New Jersey, where she served as Chief Section Counsel from 2007 to 2013. Peggy has been a loyal pro bono volunteer at VLJ's Bankruptcy Program, taking on cases where she represents indigent clients throughout the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Peggy also frequently volunteers to mentor other attorneys through the process of representing clients in bankruptcy. Peggy is an exemplary volunteer and no one is more deserving of this honor!
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