In the midst of the uncertainty and upheaval, Legal Services has remained steadfast and resolute in its commitment to its core mission—securing equal justice for those living in poverty.

Milestone anniversaries provide a special opportunity to reflect upon our roots, our progress, and our goals for the future. Over the past year, our clients have struggled with many challenges, all made worse by the pandemic, increasing social unrest, and racial inequity. As an institution, we responded not only to the need to shift to a remote system of service provision, but also suffered the unexpected loss of our co-founder and former president, Melville D. Miller, Jr., who died on March 1, 2021. As we commemorate our 55th year providing civil legal aid to our fellow New Jerseyans, we honor Mr. Miller’s legacy by continuing to bend the arc of justice until all New Jersey residents have access to fair and adequate legal representation.

As COVID-19 continues to compound and exacerbate the problems faced by low-income New Jersey residents, our work is more important than ever. Legal Services staff will continue to tackle injustice in all its forms and serve our clients with zealous dedication and compassion. We need your help.

  • For nearly all civil legal problems, there is no right to a lawyer.
  • The 34% of New Jerseyans who live in true poverty are deprived of at least one of seven essential areas of basic human need.
  • This year, one-third of those in true poverty will have at least one civil legal problem for which they need a lawyer. For 94% of those problems, they will have no lawyer.

Legal Services Cases By Type

Key Elements of the Statewide System

  • A presence in every county
  • 2.7 million cases and nearly 9 million clients over 55 years
  • Helped reform and shape every major area of law affecting people in poverty
  • Millions more assisted each year through legal information via self-help websites and presentations.

 

Hear Our Clients Speak.

Arthur: After years of trying to manage his type 2 diabetes symptoms, 63-year-old Arthur is now legally blind, receives kidney dialysis three times a week, and, in 2019, suffered a stroke. He fell behind on property taxes while waiting for his disability claim to go through. Once approved, the retroactive payment caught him up for a time, but, unfortunately, the monthly income was not enough to cover the taxes going forward. When Arthur contacted Legal Services in 2020 for assistance with a reverse mortgage, he was at risk of losing the title to his home in a matter of weeks.

Vincent: Although Vincent quit smoking 15 year ago, it was not soon enough. At 56, he is battling stage 4 emphysema and needs expensive medication just to breathe. His first call to Legal Services in 2017 was about an IRS notice that he owed close to $15,000. That phone call, he says, “changed my life forever.”


Invest in Justice!
The justice gap continues for New Jersey residents living in poverty. Your gift helps close that gap to ensure that no one is denied their right to justice in a civil legal case because they cannot afford an attorney.


To make your tax-deductible contribution, please click below and we thank you for your gift.



If you have any questions, wish to make a donation by phone, or would like to join our mailing list,
call (732) 529-8203 or email [email protected].