Why Volunteer?

Make a Difference! Volunteer to Change the Lives of Domestic Violence Victims and their Children

You Can Make a Difference in the Lives of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims

As a volunteer attorney for Partners, you will represent domestic violence victims seeking final restraining orders, safe visitation and custody arrangements, and child support. You may also have the opportunity to provide advice and counsel to empower self-represented victims. Partners will be by your side through every step of your case. Prior to taking your first case, you will participate in a complimentary CLE accredited training and receive a comprehensive manual. We offer mentorship from start to finish in each case. A staff attorney will personally provide support and guidance and second seat your first case. We empower volunteers to take the lead in case preparation, strategy, and client communication. Your representation will have a lasting impact on the life of a domestic violence victim. Join us and make a difference!

Pro Bono Attorneys:

  • Represent victims in Final Restraining Order Trials.
  • Represent victims in child custody and child support hearings and other applications for post judgment relief.
  • Provide legal advice to prepare self-represented victims.
  • Prepare and argue appeals and complex litigation.
  • Research and writing focused on policy and evidentiary issues.

Why Volunteer?

Impact

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Samuel Thomas
Thomas Kadian, LLC

“The pro bono program with Partners exposes our attorneys to a world they might not know and makes them better people and better lawyers.​”

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Irene Hurtado
McCarter & English, LLP

“If you are an attorney and you have the time and desire, take a case; you won’t regret it.”

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Emily Bordens
Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C.

“When I provide pro bono legal services, I know I make a tangible difference in someone’s life, helping them navigate a complex process effectively and easing their legal stress.”

We are proud of our volunteers and we welcome new team members to join us in fighting for justice for domestic violence victims.

Training

Partners provides one-on-one guidance, training assistance in developing legal strategies, and administrative support to all of our volunteer attorneys. Our training includes a complimentary CLE accredited 4 to 6 hour training by experts in Family Law and Domestic Violence designed in collaboration with the Rachel Coalition. Other training resources include:

  • A comprehensive training manual with applicable substantive and procedural law, as well as sample forms.
  • Second-seating by one of our staff attorneys for young associates and/or volunteers new to domestic violence representation.
  • Availability of our staff attorneys for consultation and trial preparation assistance.
  • A brief bank/memoranda of legal issues and sample motions.

Benefits to Volunteers

  • Associates gain experience litigating in court.
  • Associates handle all aspects of their case from start to finish.
  • Seasoned attorneys use their expertise to help victims and mentor associates.
  • Late career and recently retired attorneys can continue to practice law while making a difference in the lives of others.
  • Volunteers who donate 25 hours or more are eligible for an exemption for court mandated Madden assignments. Many volunteers completely satisfy their yearly pro bono obligations by providing representation in just one case while supporting a cause in which they believe.*
  • Malpractice Insurance – Volunteer attorneys are covered by Partners’ legal malpractice insurance up to $1,000,000.

Benefits to Firms

  • Volunteer service is a morale booster for attorneys in the firm.
  • Firms receive favorable publicity for doing pro bono work.
  • Involvement in pro bono work is a recruitment tool for new associates and summer associates.
  • Firms benefit from the litigation experience gained by their associates.
  • Firms can increase philanthropic work and give back to their communities through pro bono service.
  • Senior counsel can help to build their mid-size or larger firm’s pro bono program with the on-going support and mentorship of Partners.

*Partners is a New Jersey Supreme Court certified pro bono provider. Pursuant to New Jersey Court Rule 1:21-12, volunteer attorneys who complete 25 hours of pro bono service in the prior year to qualify to claim an exemption from court-mandated Madden pro bono assignments.

Pro Bono Profile: Sari B. Placona, Esq.  

We are excited to recognize one of our amazing volunteer attorneys, Sari B. Placona, Esq., a bankruptcy attorney at McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC. 

Sari first learned about Partners from her colleague, Shoshana Schiff, a Partners trustee and longtime supporter. Excited about the opportunity to use her law degree to help people, in October of 2015, Sari decided to attend a Partners training. Armed with the knowledge she gained from the training, she quickly took on her first case. Since then she has represented several domestic violence victims. 

Sari says that what resonates with her most about the work is the personal connection she makes with each client. “You see the fright in their eyes and then the relief, appreciation, and feeling of safety when they are granted a final restraining order. Often times they think they are not going to get through it, but they step-up. The bravery and courage they exhibit is inspiring.” However, her cases have not been without their challenges – several times her clients have experienced setbacks in their cases and need encouragement to push forward. 

Interestingly, Sari has noticed similarities between the work she does for Partners and her private practice work as a bankruptcy and litigation attorney. As a bankruptcy attorney for debtors, she helps businesses that are in trouble. “My clients are looking for someone to be understanding and empathetic to their situation. Similarly, domestic violence survivors are also looking for support and empathy. My private practice work has helped me to be a better attorney for my Partners clients.” 

Sari also serves as a member of Partners’ Junior Advisory Board (JAB), which is comprised of a passionate group of young professionals who are committed to helping victims and survivors of domestic violence. The JAB raises awareness about the domestic violence epidemic and raises money to support the free legal services Partners provides. Sari is always one of our biggest fundraisers for the JAB’s signature fundraising evet, the Break the Cycle 5K Walk, and her firm, McManimon, Scotland & Baumnann, LLC, has been a consistent supporter of the event as well. 

Partners thanks Sari for her dedication to helping victims and survivors of domestic violence and McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC for their commitment to Partners and support of volunteer attorneys like Sari.