New Jersey Access to Justice Structure New Jersey has no formal Access to Justice entity. Access to Justice functions have been performed effectively over the years through a coordinated effort between the New Jersey State Bar Association and Legal Services of New Jersey, which serves as a funder/fundraiser and provides state coordination and support, as well as direct representation and advocacy. Key Initiatives Funding Efforts to expand funding for civil legal assistance at the state level have been highly successful. Out of a total of more than $37 million currently dedicated to legal services in New Jersey, approximately $14 million comes from state funding and approximately $12 million from IOLTA (although IOLTA is declining). Approximately $2 million comes from counties, other governmental units, and private sources. Only 13 percent of the funding of the state’s LSC grantees comes from LSC. Legal Needs Study A comprehensive legal needs study, the first in the state since the 1980s, was completed in 2002 by Legal Services of New Jersey’s Poverty Research Institute. Pro Bono Each of New Jersey’s six regional legal aid programs program operates a separate pro bono program to assist indigent clients in their service area. These local efforts are coordinated through a statewide Pro Bono Task Force led by Legal Services of New Jersey. Legal Services of New Jersey itself operates a number of statewide "boutique" volunteer panels, which provide pro bono assistance to indigent clients and non-profit organizations in specialized areas. Substantive training is available at no cost to attorneys who participate in Immigration Asylum and Domestic Violence pro bono panels. To accommodate volunteers who do not wish to become involved in cases which require litigation and court appearances, Legal Services of New Jersey is in the process of developing an infrastructure to allow pro bono attorneys to participate in its statewide telephone hotline. Access to Courts Legal Services of New Jersey has worked closely with the state court system for several years to coordinate and mutually support efforts to improve access and materials for pro se litigants. The state court system has also endorsed and co-sponsored efforts by Legal Services of New Jersey to secure grants for a pilot interactive kiosk project. Work on a demonstration initiative began in early 2003. Program/Delivery Effective January 2003, the Legal Services Corporation consolidated its service areas in the state, resulting in mergers that reduced the number of LSC-funded programs from 14 to six. Statewide coordination of delivery continues to be provided by Legal Services of New Jersey.
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