MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair resident Karen Sacks is making headlines for her work as an attorney.
On September 14, the New Jersey Law Journal has selected Karen Sacks, the founding executive director of Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) and a Montclair resident, for its 2016 Top Women in the Law. She was listed among 25 women highlighted in the private, public and public interest sectors.
The newspaper said its project was an “attempt to shine a light on the outstanding work being done by female attorneys across New Jersey.”
While in private practice, Sacks was engaged in various pro bono efforts. Ten years later, after witnessing funding cuts to pro bono legal programs, she moved full time into public interest work.
Through a small grant Sacks secured 15 years ago to create a pro bono program in New Jersey, VLJ was born. She now oversees the work of VLJ, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year of providing pro bono legal advice to low-income people.
Sacks’ interest in public interest law began in law school while interning at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
Sacks has also volunteered for the Unemployment Action Center, helping the unemployed receive benefits; and served as an editor on the Review of Law and Social Change.
VLJ advises on issues including bankruptcy, consumer matters, eviction, child support, reentry after military service, Superstorm Sandy recovery and reentry after prison.
In 2015, VLJ volunteers donated more than $2 million in free legal services.