College Columns December 2017 - Page 9

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Heartfelt Thank You

A Message from a 2016 ACB Foundation Pro Bono Grantee

Jill Friedman, Adj. Professor and Associate Dean

Pro Bono & Public Interest Program, Rutgers Law School

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Dear Ms. McNamara,

I am writing to share good news from New Jersey, specifically about the Hon. Morris Stern Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project. In January 2017, Hon. Rosemary Gambardella, our Project’s guiding light, was kind enough to host a New Year’s luncheon for attorney and student volunteers and for the bankruptcy bench and court staff, all in her courtroom. It was truly a pleasure to celebrate Judge Stern’s memory, to honor the lawyers and law students who have volunteered with the Project, and to enjoy a lovely lunch and convivial conversation with judicial and clerk’s office staff, representatives from Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, and Chief Judge Ferguson, Judges Gambardella, Meisel, Papalia and Sherwood.

Sam Della Fera of Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Fera Sodono was named as our attorney volunteer of the year, and student volunteer Rebecca Schaefer also was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the Project.

This lovely event alone would have been cause for celebration, but I thought the Foundation would be pleased to learn that as a result of the luncheon, we recruited 15 additional attorney volunteers, 11 of whom have been able to participate in our spring Chapter 7 petition drafting workshops.

Though final statistics are still pending and will be reported in due course, we anticipate that for the academic year 2017-2018, the Program will have provided representation to 28 clients in Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions, and will have provided legal assistance to over 100 clients through the intake project.

We are so grateful to the American College of Bankruptcy and Foundation for its support of this worthwhile Project, and wanted you to know about this substantial development.

With gratitude,

Jill Friedman