Volunteer

mPower PRO BONO LEGAL REPRESENTATION PROGRAM - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE


Since 2005, we have collaborated closely with Rachel Coalition, a program of Jewish Family Services – Metrowest, to provide high quality legal representation to women seeking Final Restraining Orders (“FRO”) in Family Court. Together, Rachel and Partners recruit, train and mentor attorneys interested in helping victims of domestic violence achieve safety for themselves and their children.

  • Type of Cases:

    • Final Restraining Order Trials (primarily in Essex and Union County)
  • Selection of Cases:

    Partners screens for financial, eligibility and evidentiary issues.

  • Income Guidelines:

    We use 65% of the median regional income in northern New Jersey as our maximum income.

  • Referral to Firms:

    Attorneys sign up to represent clients in FRO trials.  We ask attorneys to agree to be on call for two days every 4 months, if possible.  (If attorneys take a first case during the 4-month period, they are given the option of declining to take a second case.)

  • Average Number of Hours per case

    • FRO hearings:   8-15 hours
  • Support for Pro Bono Attorneys:

    • Free 4.5  hour training by experts in Family Law and Domestic Violence
    • Comprehensive manual with applicable substantive and procedural law, as well as sample forms
    • Partners attorneys are always available for consultation and trial preparation assistance
    • Brief bank/memoranda of legal issues and sample motions are available
  • Mandatory Pro Bono:

    Partners for Women and Justice qualifies as a Domestic Violence Service Provider under Section 88. Attorneys who perform at least 25 hours annually of pro bono services through Partners will be exempted from serving as assigned counsel (“Madden” counsel).

  • CLE Credit:

    Continuing education is now mandatory in New Jersey and most of our trainings award CLE credit.

  • Malpractice Insurance:

    Volunteer attorneys are covered by Partners’ legal malpractice insurance.

  • Benefit to Firm:

    • Young associates have an opportunity to go into court on their own early in their careers.
    • Young associates have an opportunity to handle all aspects of their own case from start to finish early in their careers.
    • Volunteer service is a morale booster for attorneys in the firm.
    • Firms receive favorable publicity for doing pro bono work.
    • Firm involvement in pro bono work is a recruitment tool for new associates and summer associates.