The New Jersey Judiciary has collaborated with the New Jersey State Bar Association to produce a new video for lawyers that highlights the opportunities and obligations of attorneys to provide free “pro bono” work on behalf of litigants who cannot afford representation.
“Whenever we need help to address the profound legal problems of the day, pro bono lawyers make the difference for litigants in need. Pro bono work is not just a helpful supplement to the legal system. It is vital to the delivery of justice in our state, and in our nation,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner says in the video.
According to the video, about 500,000 New Jersey residents have a legal problem each year, and only one in five of them receive the help of an attorney. The video emphasizes the important role that attorneys play in ensuring access to justice for all New Jersey residents.
“As lawyers, we have a special tool – a law degree – that enables us to give back to the community. That is our privilege and obligation,” Bar President Susan A. Feeney says in the video.
As a result of a New Jersey Supreme Court case named Madden v. Delran, attorneys in New Jersey, with few exceptions, are required to perform pro bono work. The video provides an overview of the types of representation provided by volunteer attorneys, resources provided by the courts to assist them in their volunteer assignments, and organizations to contact in order to volunteer.
The video is accessible the Judiciary’s YouTube channel.