Partners for Women and Justice in Bloomfield will honor Sally Glick, principal and chief growth strategist at SobelCo in Livingston; Jack Wurgaft, partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, with seven offices in New Jersey, including its Springfield headquarters; and Bressler, Amery & Ross, a multidisciplinary law firm committed to pro bono services in Florham Park, at its 16th annual Spring Benefit, scheduled for May 1 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange.
“We typically raise nearly $350,000 each year, with close to 400 people attending the event,” Jane Hanson, co-founder and executive director of Partners for Women and Justice, said.
Founded in 2002, Partners for Women and Justice provides legal services free of charge to victims of domestic violence, focused primarily on the obtainment of restraining orders and issues involving children, such as visitation, custody and child support.
“We help between 400 and 500 victims navigate the legal system annually, who otherwise would be left without an attorney to fend for themselves, as many of our clients earn low incomes and do not speak English,” Hanson said. “Through our combination of staff attorneys, bilingual paralegals and the training we provide for pro bono attorneys at larger private practices in the state, our clients get the benefit of about $1 million in donated services every year.”
The organization’s board of trustees includes representatives of the law firms whose attorneys volunteer for the organization, including Lowenstein Sandler, Genova Burns, McCarter & English, and Bressler, Amery & Ross.
“Still, despite having some of the strongest preventative laws in the nation, there are thousands of restraining order matters filed and nearly 60,000 incidences of domestic violence in New Jersey reported every year,” Hanson said. “In realizing we never would be able to serve everyone with a need, we developed an advocacy initiative a couple of years ago to try to effect systemic change.
“Where we see problems that our clients face, such as translation of evidence, criminal justice reform, legislation and a more robust enforcement of child support, we try to address those so that it will be better for everybody, and not just those represented by our attorneys.”
Glick said she got involved with the organization after speaking with her colleague at SobelCo, Rebecca Fitzhugh, a member of the board of trustees of Partners for Women and Justice, to try to gather resources for a friend.
“Whatever anyone’s gender, generation or economic status, we should want them to be able to live a fair and safe life, because, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, before one can obtain self-fulfillment, one must first be fed, be safe and have shelter before starting to move up that pyramid toward all of the other things that make life so wonderful,” Glick said. “It’s meaningful to me that this organization believes I have enough value to add that honoring me will help them achieve their goals. That someone really believes I have the power to make a difference, that is huge for me and, in fact, is the value of my life.”
“I want to thank Partners for Women and Justice for honoring me with their Partner in Hope award,” Wurgaft said. “The organization provides desperately needed pro bono legal representation for victims of spousal abuse, and, in doing so, gives hope and support to otherwise helpless victims.
“Just to be associated with Partners for Women and Justice is an honor and a privilege.”
For more information concerning the Spring Benefit, contact Vicki Paulson, director of advancement at Partners for Women and Justice, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-233-0111.