Search News & Press Releases

NJSBA Pro Bono Awards honor lawyers for helping New Jersey’s most vulnerable

October 23, 2019
Contact: Wendy Solomon
NEW BRUNSWICK – When the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) holds its 2019 Pro Bono Awards Reception on Oct. 24 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, attendees will hear about the often unsung heroes of the legal world who donate countless hours to help the poor, the disenfranchised and the most vulnerable in New Jersey.
The awards recognize exemplary pro bono work that has a significant impact on access to justice for underserved communities in the state.
Fighting for child asylum cases
For the attorneys at the Short Hills firm of DLA Piper, which won a Pro Bono Award for large firms, the cases often involve children who have fled violent and traumatic experiences from the turbulent Northern Triangle countries in Central America: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Many of the cases involve children whose family members were gunned down by gangs. One case involved a teenager who survived years of ­physical and emotional abuse because he loved folkloric dance. Another involved a South Asian teenager who was beaten and stabbed after being targeted by a powerful political family intent on punishing his father.
“The attorneys at DLA Piper do not shy away from the difficult cases involving years of severe childhood trauma,” Carrey Wong, managing attorney for Kids in Need of Defense in Newark, wrote in her nomination of DLA Piper. “DLA Piper has worked diligently with these children who continue to face the lifelong impact of the abuse, patiently shepherding them through the immigration process while also focusing in on other day-to-day challenges and advocating for social services to promote their wellbeing and continued recovery.”
The firm estimates it donated more than 2,000 pro bono hours in 2018, and nearly 14,000 pro bono hours in New Jersey since it started.
Focus on social justice
The Nissenbaum Law Group in Union will receive the Pro Bono Award for small firms. It has formed an internal pro bono legal team of four attorneys and three paralegals who meet twice a week to coordinate their work for a select group of nonprofit social justice clients. Over the last three years, the firm has developed what it calls a transactional pro bono model to provide legal services to a rotating list of five nonprofit entities and a sixth that it incubates. The firm spent more than 1,000 hours providing pro bono services in 2018, and more than 10,000 hours in total since 1997.
The firm handles a variety of legal matters for these clients by representing them in a holistic manner. In addition to attending to their day-to-day legal needs, it also helps them achieve their respective missions. The latter includes such items as drafting proposed state legislation and accompanying legal analysis memos, preparing petitions for rule-making seeking regulatory change, filing public comment on proposed federal and state regulation, preparing policy papers in areas of social concern, and appearing as amicus curiae. The Nissenbaum Law Group’s nonprofit clients focus on a range of issues, including women’s reproductive rights, economic justice, criminal justice reform, racial justice, environmental concerns and immigrant rights.
Expunging criminal records, helping low-income people
The Pro Bono New Attorney Awards will be given to David F. Roeber, an attorney with Stradley, Ronon, Stevens and Young in Cherry Hill, and Kaitlyn Stone, an attorney at Drinker Biddle & Reath in Florham Park.
Roeber helped develop and launch UrbanPromise Legal Clinic, now Volunteer UP Legal Clinic. As lead attorney, he provided legal support to more than 100 low-income individuals in Camden and surrounding communities. Roeber has donated nearly 500 hours of pro bono work during his career, including more than 200 in 2018.
In a nomination letter, Roeber was lauded for his “dedication of time, ­passion and knowledge [that] led to many lives being bettered from quality legal support and representation and a community gaining much-needed resources.”
Stone is a pro bono lawyer with ­Volunteer Lawyers for Justice and Legal Services of Northwest New Jersey, where since 2015 she has helped nearly 80 low-income clients expunge criminal records, helping them overcome some of the most challenging obstacles to successful community reintegration. Stone has spent more than 300 hours serving pro bono clients throughout her career, at a value of nearly $100,000, including 185 hours in 2018.
Karen Robinson, a staff attorney for Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, wrote in her nomination, “Kate is an exceptional and empathetic volunteer who gives freely of her time and talent to assist a population often overlooked and underserved.

Contact: NJSBA Communications Department
Tel: 732-937-7527
Email: [email protected]


Founded in 1899, the NJSBA is the largest organization of attorneys, judges and legal professionals in New Jersey. At the core of our mission is improving the lives of our members, advancing the rule of law and serving as the voice of the profession. With 85 sections and committees, the NJSBA allows attorneys to benefit from being part of the most wide-reaching legal association in the state, while still cultivating expertise and building networks within specialized practice areas.



The New Jersey State Bar Association is committed to promoting and fostering a diverse and inclusive bar association. The Association recognizes that the broad concept of diversity includes race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age and disability. The NJSBA fosters and promotes an inclusive environment that gives value to the unique contributions of diverse individuals and organizations in all aspects of the Association.

Learn More


The NJSBA Legal and  Government Affairs Department serves as the liaison between NJSBA members and the state’s three branches of government.


The New Jersey Law Center is located at 1 Constitution Sq, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901. Need directions to the Law Center? Click on the button below to get started right away.

Contact NJSBA

NJSBA Contact Us Form
If you're looking for an attorney, click here for help.

If you cannot afford an attorney and have a civil matter, click here for Legal Services of New Jersey.

Looking for information about a specific lawyer? Contact the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection at 855-533-3863.

Have a complaint about a lawyer? Visit the Office of Attorney Ethics website. Select “Attorney Discipline” from the navigation bar for discipline of attorneys.

Contact Info

One Constitution Square
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday

Fax 732-249-2815

Email us

NJSBA Meetings and Events Calendar

From section, committee and division meetings with valuable CLE credit, to receptions and dinners and special events, the New Jersey State Bar Association regularly holds meetings so our members can meet their mandatory CLE requirements and network with the state’s largest attorney membership.

View Calendar

2024 Mid-Year Meeting

The New Jersey State Bar Association is thrilled to announce the 2024 Mid-Year Meeting will be held in Dublin, Ireland at The Shelbourne Hotel, Nov. 2-9.

View more information

2025 Family Law Retreat

The New Jersey State Bar Association is thrilled to announce the 2025 Family Law Retreat will be held in Mexico, San José del Cabo from March 23-27.

More Information

Practice HQ Training Events

Lawyers aren't taught practice management skills, and the NJSBA is here to fill the gap — no matter whether you are just starting out, mid-career or thinking about wrapping up their practices. Our PracitceHQ is here to help with webinars, informative articles, free consultations, comparison charts and so much more.

Practice HQ Training Events


The new NJSBA member benefit Decisis will help you level-up your legal research.

Decisis gives members access to a robust database of local and federal case law is necessary information often used to structure your case. Decisis provides industry-leading tools to make legal research easier and more intuitive, and it’s a free benefit to all active New Jersey State Bar Association members.

Decisis Training Events

Networking Events

The NJSBA provides a host of networking events so members can maintain relationships with existing colleagues and make new connects. Join us at a baseball game, the hockey arena, for a community service project, or another event.

Upcoming Networking Events

Benefits Of Membership

As a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), you will join a powerful network of 16,000 legal professionals across the state of New Jersey. NJSBA membership grants you access to year-round virtual and in-person networking events, leadership and professional development opportunities, member-only discounts, educational resources to help you stay in the know and much more!

Practice Management Tools

The NJSBA provides tools lawyers need to improve their practice, from our comprehensive PracticeHQ library of resources; a career center to find your next colleague or opportunity; an intuitive and high-powered legal research platform; and a robust Member Assistance Program to connect members, and those who live in their households, with experienced counselors and resources to address mental health needs.



As an NJSBA member, you'll become part of the collective power of the NJSBA network, giving you the ability to influence legislation and caselaw in New Jersey. Let’s work together to shape the future and solve critical issues facing attorneys and the public.

Become a Member Today!


Membership helps you build and maintain a powerful network through our in-person and online events with attorneys all over the state.


Become a Member Today!

Become A Partner Organization

The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) offers an exclusive partnership opportunity to amplify your organization’s impact and drive success. By harnessing the power of the NJSBA legal community, you can connect with our vibrant network of 16,000 legal professionals from 35+ different areas of practice, unlocking unparalleled opportunities for growth and achievement.


News and Press Publications

Learn more about the accomplishments of the Association, its members and events from regular news updates, press releases, and our award-winning magazine.



Read the comments, reports, resolutions and Board of Trustee news from the state’s largest organization of lawyers, judges and legal professionals.


Statements and Positions

The NJSBA is the voice of the profession and takes public positions on a range of issues with the legal community and government officials. It also takes positions on legislation and files friend-of-the-court briefs on matters that impact the profession. 

Photo Galleries

Check out photos from recent NJSBA events.

View Photo Albums

You do not have permission to view this form.