Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) will hold free legal aid clinics in Hoboken for New Jersey residents dealing with legal issues directly related to Superstorm Sandy. The clinics are part of VLJ's new Disaster Legal Response Program (DLRP), which also includes extended representation and a statewide hotline. Clinics will take place at the Hoboken Elks Lodge at 1005 Washington Street on the following Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m.:
- June 13
- June 20
- July 11
- July 18
- August 1
- August 15
At these free legal clinics, VLJ and its volunteer attorneys provide counsel, advice and limited scope assistance to participants. Matters often include insurance, housing, landlord/tenant issues, contractor disputes, employment issues and FEMA appeals. Volunteers at the clinics have included attorneys from McCarter & English LLP, Patton Boggs LLP, UBS, Citi, Duane Morris LLP, Gibbons PC, Jackson Lewis LLP, and Morgan Lewis. Clinic participants should bring correspondence with FEMA, insurance policies and correspondence with insurers, mortgages and recent mortgage statements, and leases and correspondence with landlords.
Clinics are also being held twice a month in Jersey City at City Hall, located at 280 Grove Street. The next clinic in Jersey City is set for Wednesday, May 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. In addition, clinics are held at the Brookdale Community College in Hazlet and are planned for an Ocean County location as well. A regularly updated list of clinic dates is available at http://www.vljnj.org/.
All victims of the storm with legal issues in New Jersey, regardless of their income and assets are eligible to meet with a volunteer attorney at the legal clinic for advice and brief service. Clinic participants needing extended representation are screened for financial eligibility, and VLJ will attempt to locate a volunteer attorney to take on full representation of the client's legal issue. Applicants will be screened by VLJ for eligibility, but generally, a family of four must have an annual income that is less than $71,000. Applicants will also be asked questions about the value of their assets.
VLJ's DLRP also includes a statewide hotline - (855) 301-2525 - staffed by volunteer attorneys, VLJ staff, and law students. Intake staff is available to answer calls on Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will screen cases for potential placement with volunteer lawyers. Callers may also leave a message on the hotline after hours and receive a prompt call-back from a VLJ volunteer or staff member to address their issues.
VLJ is a state-wide 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation based in Newark. VLJ provides comprehensive legal services to economically-disadvantaged adults, children, and families in New Jersey to ensure fair and equal treatment within the legal system. Programs include free legal counsel and advice, educational seminars on various legal matters, and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues.