NJSBA launches Free Legal Answers; volunteer attorneys will answer COVID-19 related legal questions through secure website

By NJSBA Staff posted 17 days ago

  
New Jersey residents facing the myriad legal questions raised by the global COVID-19 pandemic have a new place to turn for help. The New Jersey State Bar Association has launched NJ Free Legal Answers, an online legal advice resource that allows the public to post civil legal questions and get help from a volunteer attorney.FreeLegal_300w.png 
 
“The NJSBA is committed to ensuring public access to the justice system. The need is especially urgent in the unique circumstances of the global pandemic,” said NJSBA President Kimberly A. Yonta. “New Jersey Free Legal Answers lets the public get timely advice from legal professionals, so they may make sound decisions during a chaotic and anxiety-ridden time.”
   
How it works
Free Legal Answers allows users to post civil and family legal questions to a secure site where volunteer lawyers can login to provide basic legal guidance. It is the online version of the traditional walk-in clinic, similar to Law Day clinics that the NJSBA has hosted around the state where members of the public could ask for help from volunteer attorneys.
   
To get started, go to nj.freelegalanswers.org and follow the prompts to create a client account. All communication with attorneys takes place through the website. Advice is limited to civil and some family matters.
   
NJ Free Legal Answers is not a replacement for free legal advice that members of the public may be eligible for through Legal Services of New Jersey, which can be reached at 888-576-5529, or the many other programs that provide such services in New Jersey.
   
Additional resources for assistance can be found on the resource page and, the New Jersey State Bar Foundation has COVID-19 information for the public in the following categories:
   
Health & Wellness Issues
Labor & Employment - Employer
Labor & Employment - Employee
Business Issues
Domestic Violence & Child Abuse
Housing, Evictions & Foreclosures
Education Issues
Surrogate Offices
Social Security
Elder & Special Needs Populations
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scams
Tax, Financial & Consumer Issues
Social Distancing & Gatherings
   
A tradition of public service
The program’s launch builds on a tradition of NJSBA service during times of state and national emergency. Following Sept. 11, volunteers from the NJSBA staffed clinics in Hudson County to help the victims of that tragedy. In the weeks following Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, the NJSBA activated a mass disaster response and provided assistance by phone to members of the communities struggling with legal issues.
   
“The NJSBA has, time and again, risen to the challenges of a crisis,” Yonta said. “New Jersey’s legal profession stands ready to serve. Access to justice is an integral component our mission, and this program will be another tool to help us fulfill that mission.”

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