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

Sam Thomas headshot

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.​”

Irene Hurtado headshot

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.”

Woman in suit and pearls smiles at camera

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.

Meet Pro Bono Attorney Ryan Richman, Esq.

Headshot of smiling man in a business suit

Motivated by a desire to help victims of domestic violence, McCarter & English, LLP attorney Ryan Richman took his first Partners’ case in 2013. Ryan is dedicated and committed to do whatever it takes to help his clients secure the safety provided by a final restraining order and break the cycle of abuse in which so many victims get trapped. According to Ryan, “the small part [he] play[s] in helping victims to tell their story and get the protections that they need and deserve makes a difference.” In addition to handling pro bono cases of his own, Ryan also mentors other associates at McCarter so that they can represent Partners’ clients. Ryan believes that “Domestic violence is such a pervasive problem that cuts across all walks of life and not everyone is aware of its far reaching impact. The more attorneys I can help too get educated and involved in dealing with this issue the better for everyone.” McCarter’s commitment to pro bono work, and the leadership and support of Pro Bono Partner, Michelle Movahed, and McCarter Partner and Partners’ Trustee,Adam Saravay, make it possible for Ryan and the attorneys who he mentors to provide representation for domestic violence victims who otherwise would be on their own.

Ryan’s law practice at McCarter focuses on product liability, toxic tort, complex commercial litigation and personal injury cases. In addition to the pro bono work he does for Partners, Ryan serves as a Board member of CASA for Children of Essex County, a Board member of the Franklin Lakes Public Schools, and a pro bono attorney for KIND (Kids in Need of Defense). Ryan’s commitment to pro bono work is truly exceptional.

Partners thanks Ryan Richman for his dedication to helping victims of domestic violence and McCarter & English for its longtime commitment to and support of volunteer attorneys like Ryan.