Volunteering for Lawyers
Why You Should Consider Volunteering At All Stages of Your Legal Career
The New Jersey Lawyer’s Assistance Program supports volunteering. Volunteering provides opportunities on many levels and is often a strong consideration by employers when selecting applicants for a position. To assist you in considering and seeking volunteer opportunities, we are developing this web page and ask that you check back with us periodically for updates.
According to Wikipedia, “Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity and is intended to promote goodness or improve human quality of life. In return, this activity can produce a feeling of self-worth and respect. There is no financial gain involved for the individual. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development, socialization, and fun. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served. It is also intended to make contacts for possible employment. It is helping, assisting, or serving another person or persons without pay.”
The Many Benefits of Volunteering
The benefits of volunteering for law students, law graduates, applicants to the bar or lawyers in transition are many. Volunteering can be a great way to learn new skills, sharpen old ones, learn more about career options, “give back”, invest in your community, have fun, develop new professional contacts, get exercise, fill time constructively, to feel like you have made a difference, or even just shake up your routine! If any of this sounds appealing to you, then becoming a volunteer is something you might want to seriously consider and pursue.
Always wanted to learn about sustainability and conservation methods? Have experience creating podcasts and would like to try using them as an advocacy tool for a nonprofit? Volunteering helps you learn new skills, keep skills sharp, or use existing skills in new ways! Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community.
Regardless of your age or career level, volunteering will introduce you to new professional paths. Volunteering can be an excellent way to learn more about a particular role or sector (particularly if you are coming from a for-profit job and hoping to switch to non-profit or government), workplace or office culture, or cause. Also, never underestimate the power of networking: volunteering offers the opportunity to cross paths- as well as, in many cases, quickly bond with people from across your community, including many with whom you may otherwise not have had contact!
Lifelong learning includes hands-on experience as a volunteer which can teach you about issues ranging from adult literacy to public health to animal welfare. Plainly and simply, sometimes it just feels good to be valued, and as a volunteer, you can contribute unique skills, experience, and perspectives.
Have an Impact
Last but most certainly not least, volunteering is one of the best ways to make a difference in your community. Whatever your passion, however you get involved, volunteering offers a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world.
Types of Volunteering
Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as law, medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster. And many others volunteer in areas completely foreign to them in order to add a little spice to their life! Some types of volunteering are:
- Service Learning Programs
- Skills-based volunteering
- Board Service
- Volunteering in developing countries
- Virtual volunteering
- Community Volunteering
- International Work Camps
- Environmental volunteering
- Volunteering in an emergency
- Volunteering in schools
- Corporate volunteering
How to Get Started
If you are interested in volunteering, below we have provided information for several organizations always in need of your support. You can obtain additional information on each organization by clicking on the link to their website, or by calling one of the telephone numbers provided below.
Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Jersey, a non-profit organization, support a statewide network of local, community based CASA programs through which trained volunteers advocate for the best interests of children who have been removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. CASA of New Jersey provides support primarily through funding, training, public education, and technical assistance. The vision of CASA of New Jersey is that all children in New Jersey who have been removed from their families because of abuse or neglect are served by a qualified, well-trained Court Appointed Special Advocate. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with CASA of New Jersey, please visit:
- Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Jersey
77 Church Street
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
The FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties
The FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties mission is to alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The FoodBank envisions Monmouth and Ocean Counties as a food secure community where all people at all times have access to enough nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Volunteers are the heart of the FoodBank. They organize food drives, sort donations, fill agency orders, work with farmers to help plant, maintain, and harvest vegetables in the garden and greenhouse, and help with office work, gift wrapping during the holidays, and mailings. Some volunteers contribute their professional or trade skills.To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, please visit:
- The FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties
3300 Route 66
Neptune, New Jersey 07753
[email protected] (Judy Daniels, Community Engagement Coordinator)
Grounds For Sculpture
Grounds for Sculpture was established in 1992 to promote an understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture for all people by maintaining a 42-acre sculpture park composed of works by well-known and emerging American and international artists in Hamilton, New Jersey; organizing accessible exhibitions; and, interpreting these exhibitions through publications, lectures, workshops and other educational programs. In accordance with its mission, Grounds for Sculpture presents visitors with an evolving permanent outdoor collection, seasonal exhibitions, and educational programs designed to facilitate the understanding and appreciation for contemporary sculpture. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Grounds for Sculpture, please visit:
Legal Services of NJ
Legal Services in New Jersey embraces the vision of full access to essential civil legal aid for all economically disadvantaged people who cannot ensure a lawyer on their own. This belief in the importance of legal assistance to indigent people stems from an underlying concern with fairness, and a conviction that important legal needs of individuals should be addressed. Legal Services of New Jersey welcomes attorneys who would like to volunteer their time in their Edison, New Jersey office. Their current, greatest need is in the area of mortgage foreclosure and general consumer issues, and have other pressing needs in the area of Family and Landlord Tenant-Law. Prior experience is preferred but not required. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Legal Services of New Jersey, please send your resume, cover letter which must include the state and date of bar admissions, and a short writing sample to [email protected], or visit:
100 Metroplex Drive at Plainfield Avenue
P.O. Box 1357
Edison, New Jersey 08818
New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides the New Jersey art community with legal support and education. They provide legal referrals to volunteer attorneys and teach artists about their legal rights and responsibilities in developing, protecting, and realizing the value in their work. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with NJ Volunteer for the Arts, please visit:
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) was created in 2001 as a program of the Legal Services Foundation of Essex County to provide direct legal representation to residents of Essex County, New Jersey. VLJ’s mission is to improve the lives of economically disadvantaged adults, children, and families in New Jersey by empowering them with tools, advice, and pro bono representation with the goal of securing fair and equal treatment within the legal system.To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, please visit:
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
P.O. Box 32040
Newark, New Jersey 07102
[email protected]We will be adding additional organizations and volunteer opportunities to this page periodically. If you have any suggestions, please let us know, by emailing [email protected]. In the meantime, be adventurous, be helpful, be a part of something bigger than yourself:VOLUNTEER!