“Someone should do something!” When we feel powerless to act in the face of injustice, we hope that someone will step forward to help, someone with the knowledge and resources to stand up against “might” for what is “right.”
For about 20 years, New Jersey Appleseed (NJA) has been that “someone” in a number of instances, stepping up to fight for those who might be on the wrong side of power but are on the right side of the argument. It has confronted some of the most pressing and complex problems that threaten vulnerable communities and individuals in the state, providing a legal voice to those who might otherwise not be heard.
As an independent public interest law center created and run by attorneys, NJA views issues from a lawyer’s perspective and focuses on law-based solutions and approaches which often, but don’t necessarily, involve litigation. Yes, NJA has gone to court to advocate for such values as voting rights and health care and to oppose overreach by the powers that be, whether by the government or corporate interests.
But NJA also works for policy reform, often in partnership with other-like-minded groups, through legislation, public outreach and awareness, research, publication of manuals and guidelines, hosting conferences and forums and other means.
NJA aims to address unmet legal needs by strategizing with community organizations and playing a role that is one often not met by other pro bono law groups.