Letter From The President-Elect Of The New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association

2004-05-01 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

In-house counsel in New Jersey contribute countless pro bono hours. Many talented lawyers with the support of their corporate de`partments devote a great deal of time helping many good people.

The contributions of the Legal Department of Merck & Co., Inc. provide just one example. Their heartfelt and long-term commitment is exemplified by the numerous pro bono cases they've handled since 1994, in such areas as landlord/tenant, guardianship, family law, bankruptcy, and domestic violence. Merck's attorneys have contributed in excess of 5,000 pro bono hours assisting the poor and disadvantaged in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Currently, 43 attorneys and 28 support staff at Merck facilities in Rahway and Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and Upper Gwynedd, Pennsylvania are providing pro bono legal services through alliances with Legal Services of New Jersey, Central Jersey Legal Services, Legal Services of Northwest Jersey, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, Montgomery County Legal Aid Services and the Pro Bono Partnership.

On May 20, the New Jersey State Bar Association will award Mercka Special Recognition Pro Bono Award to honor the ten-year anniversary of Merck's pro bono program.For more information about NJSBA's Annual Meeting, contact Sharon Balsamo ,NJSBA's Legal Affairs Counsel, at sbalsamo@njsba.com.

The Legal Department of Johnson & Johnson provides another wonderful role model for other corporations in New Jersey and around the country. In the past year, 19 attorneys from Johnson & Johnson have contributed their pro bono services to assist 35 nonprofit organizations on matters ranging from employment and intellectual property to real estate and incorporation.

The Pro Bono Partnership recently honored the Legal Department of Johnson & Johnson for its outstanding commitment to providing free legal assistance. For more information about how the Pro Bono Partnership works with corporate law departments to provide free legal assistance to nonprofits whose programs benefit low-income communities or serve the public interest, visit its website at www.probonopartnership.org.

If you have suggestions for ways in which NJCCA can support and encourage the pro bono efforts of legal departments in New Jersey - whether large or small - please contact Valerie Camara who chairs NJCCA's Pro Bono Committee.She can be reached at valerie_camara@merck.com.


Kristi L. Vaiden