"The commitment and generosity of Gibbons Law Firm and our board of trustees enabled us to quickly secure a match of $15,000," said Dannielle Leigh, director of development of VLJ. "We are extremely thankful to both and especially to Victoria Foundation for this unique opportunity and funding."
One of the oldest private foundations in the nation, Victoria Foundation focuses on improving the lives of children and families in Newark as well as protecting the environment in N.J. The Foundation has targeted a wide range of programs that impact the cycle of poverty including K-12 education reform, neighborhood revitalization, and those directed at strengthening families.
VLJ's ReLeSe is one such program. Volunteer attorneys of ReLeSe assist clients who have been previously incarcerated with driver's license restoration, resolution of long-standing municipal matters, modification of child support orders, and the expungement of criminal records.
"Resolving these civil matters is an essential part of successful community reintegration for our clients. It brings them one step closer to finding meaningful employment and moving on with their lives," said Gina DeVito, Esq., managing attorney of VLJ's ReLeSe.
Established in 2001, VLJ provides comprehensive pro bono legal services to low-income individuals in New Jersey. In addition to ReLeSe, VLJ's wide range of programs include free legal counsel and advice; educational seminars on various legal matters such as consumer law, bankruptcy, family law and special education; and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues.