Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
P.O. Box 32040
Newark, NJ 07102
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Release Date: Monday, April 14, 2014
Media Contact: Christine Ziomek (201) 796-7788
Kitson to Lead Newark, N.J.-Based Non-Profit’s Bankruptcy and Consumer Law Clinics
NEWARK, N.J., April 14, 2014 – Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) has named Jessica Kitson, Esq. as a managing attorney. In this role, she will oversee the non-profit’s Merck/Lowenstein Bankruptcy Clinic and its Newark Legal Advice & Resource Clinic for Consumers (NLARCC). Newark, N.J.-based VLJ provides comprehensive pro bono legal services to economically disadvantaged individuals and families to ensure fair treatment within the legal system.
Through VLJ’s bankruptcy initiative, in-house counsel at Merck & Co. and Lowenstein Sandler PC provide direct aid to economically disadvantaged individuals with the preparation and filing of their Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions and representation at subsequent trustee meetings. VLJ’s NLARCC volunteer attorneys provide legal assistance and limited-scope representation to low-income individuals facing debt collection issues.
Kitson, who resides in Freehold, N.J., possesses vast experience in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining VLJ, she served as director of the Eric R. Neisser Public Interest Program and adjunct professor at Rutgers School of Law-Newark, where she oversaw all public interest and pro bono programming. Previously, Kitson was director and supervising attorney of the Rutgers Domestic Violence Advocacy Project, a pro bono program she helped create as a law student. In addition, Kitson worked at the law firm of Duane Morris LLP as public interest counsel.
“We are very excited to have Jessica join the VLJ team as she has strong ties to the New Jersey legal community and has been a tireless advocate for access to justice issues during her 10 years with Rutgers School of Law. Jessica has been coordinating the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project at the law school, and we are looking forward to her leading VLJ’s bankruptcy and consumer law efforts,” said Cathy Keenan, Esq., director of VLJ.
Active in a wide range of legal and community outreach organizations, Kitson has served as a member of the Essex County Domestic Violence Working Group, the New Jersey State Bar Association Pro Bono Committee, the New Jersey State Bar Association Task Force and the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts. She is also a past chair of the Public Service Section of the National Association for Law Placement. Kitson received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history and women’s studies with honors from Rutgers College and her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark, where she served as co-editor-in-chief of The Women’s Rights Law Reporter.
Established in 2001, VLJ provides a wide range of services including free legal counsel and advice, educational seminars on various legal matters, and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues. Since its founding, VLJ has grown from a grass roots effort of 30 volunteer attorneys in Essex County to a state-wide not-for-profit with hundreds of volunteer attorneys aiding thousands of economically disadvantaged clients each year.