LEGAL SERVICES SEEKS Pro Bono volunteers and law firms to provide HURRICANE SANDY legal assistance.
LSNJ operates a statewide Legal Assistance Hotline dedicated to low-income New Jersey residents who suffered damages from Huricane Sandy. Legal Services is also coordinating the Legal Services ‘ response to Hurricane Sandy statewide. Below is a brief description of the services needed and what Legal Services provides to volunteers.
What LSNJ offers all pro bono attorneys:
LSNJ staff will screen clients for financial eligibility, subject matter and merit prior to making a referral for pro bono.
Legal Services represents only low income clients who meet our financial eligibility requirements. As examples, an individual with annual earnings of $27,925 and a family of 3 earning $47, 725 are likely to qualify, subject to more detailed inquiry.
Screening of subject matter issues: As a result of Hurricane SANDY, Legal Services has a current need for assistance with landlord tenant matters, especially wrongful evictions, and FEMA applications.In the near future we expect to see more requests for help for private insurance claim denials, FEMA appeals, home repair fraud and other consumer scams, and family issues.
Legal Services maintains malpractice insurance which is primary coverage for all pro-bono referrals. Legal Services is also approved by the NJ Supreme Court and taking cases through our pro bono program qualifies attorneys for Madden exemptions. Out-of-state attorneys can also participate through Legal Services’ programs pursuant to a special court rule.
Legal Services has a wide variety of training videos that can be viewed by pro bono volunteers at their convenience. A majority of these can be shared electronically via the web to watch from home or office. Attorneys generally can receive CLE credit for these trainings. Pro Bono attorneys are also often invited to in-person trainings.
For law firms who agree to handle a number of cases in a given subject area, LSNJ will provide a specialized training held via webinar, at your site, or at LSNJ’s centrally located office in Edison.
Services that pro bono attorneys can provide:
Hotline telephone consultations
Legal Services operates a statewide Hurricane Sandy Legal Assistance Hotline that provides legal assistance in all civil legal matters. The Hotline is open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5:30. Legal Services is also conducting in-person intake at targeted locations throughout the state for low-income survivors of Hurricane Sandy. In both situations, clients would be given a scheduled appointment for a return call. Pro Bono volunteers take these calls remotely from their own offices. The most pressing areas of need are: landlord-tenant , FEMA applications and appeals and family. Attorneys would be given an appointment at a convenient time pre-selected to call the client. Attorneys will be provided with information about the client and a brief summary of the legal problem prior to the call. The call to the client generally lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. We ask that after the call, pro bono attorneys submit a brief statement of the facts and the advice provided to the client for our records, and any necessary follow-up.
Pro Bono attorneys may provide ongoing representation
Many Legal Services clients need ongoing representation in a wide variety of civil legal matters. Our most pressing needs are as previously stated, FEMA appeals and landlord-tenant actions. FEMA appeals can be particularly attractive for pro bono attorneys because the appeals are “on the record”, and consist of gathering facts, drafting an appeal statement in the form of a letter, meeting with the client, and submitting supporting documentation to FEMA. Landlord-tenant cases on the other hand, may result in court appearances and are very useful for newer attorneys who seek that experience. Attorneys and firms interested in doing this work should contact Legal Services’ pro bono coordinator and sign-up on line at
LAW FIRM participation
Legal Services’ pro bono Hurricane SANDY initiative is interested in working with major law firms to develop specialized projects in a subject area of need. Two examples of specialized programs that have been created in other states and are needed right now in New Jersey include the FEMA appeal process and private insurance claims. LSNJ’s pro bono project will also have the ability to link volunteer law students with law firms who have created these projects. Law firms who accept cases in a project would be in a position to create a team to represent clients including other firm non-attorney staff, such as paralegals and administrative assistants, and volunteer law students (provided through LSNJ’s pro bono program). Firms interested in doing this work should contact Legal Services’ pro bono coordinator, Harold Rubinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org and sign-up on line at
Legal Services operates a statewide Hurricane Sandy Legal Assistance Hotline that provides legal assistance in all civil legal matters. The Hotline is open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5:30 and is staffed at our centrally located office in Edison. Legal Services is also conducting in-person intake at targeted locations throughout the state for low-income survivors of Hurricane Sandy. Law students can help with the telephone and on-line intake, help research specific issues and otherwise assist in the Hurricane SANDY recovery effort. Individual students interested in registering should complete the information at www.probononj.org., law school pro bono program or other administratiors should contact Harold Rubenstein at email@example.com.