njsbf new jersey state bar foundation logo a 501c3 non profit organization

Informed Citizens

are Better Citizens

Part of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s mission is to foster increased knowledge of the law and the legal system for New Jersey residents. To achieve this mission, the NJSBF offers annual grants to other nonprofit organizations to support law-related programs for the public, senior citizens, immigrants, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and more.

The NJSBF’s Cosponsorship Program, which began in 1990, is supported with funding from the IOLTA Fund of the State of New Jersey. In 2022, the Foundation awarded grant-based financial support to 26 nonprofit organizations to underwrite law-related programs, provide legal information and broaden public education.

Check out what grant recipients said recently about the impact of partnering with the Foundation:

Changing Mindsets
The YWCA Northern New Jersey is dedicated to eliminating racism and advancing gender equity in the 159 communities it serves. With past cosponsorship grants, YWCA Northern New Jersey provided Title IX training for higher education leaders. Last year’s funding led to the creation of a toolkit to build awareness, educate, and prevent intimidation and sexual harassment within New Jersey’s political arena.

“The support and funding provided by the NJSBF has helped create educational opportunities to change mindsets, shift toxic cultures and position women as empowered instead of victims. Through workshops, training videos, and roundtable events, we can continue our important work and advance gender equity in the communities we serve.”

Information Access
The New Jersey Consortium for Immigrant Children (NJCIC) supports the state’s young immigrants and their allies through a coalition of legal advocates, as well as health care, mental health services and social work professionals. With the 2022 cosponsorship grant award, the NJCIC has produced informational materials related to the immigration court process.

“In 2022, the NJCIC screened close to 900 unaccompanied immigrant children to determine their legal status eligibility. For those eligible, the process to seek legal status can be daunting. The toolkit, funded in part by NJSBF, provides an overview of the legal process for immigration, how to determine if the child can qualify for legal status and step-by-step instructions to transfer to a more appropriate court. This toolkit will be distributed at upcoming ‘Know Your Rights’ trainings and available electronically. With more than 400 children on a waitlist for a pro bono attorney, the toolkit will help orient caregivers and families and provide answers to questions while placement with pro bono counsel is pending.”

Legal Services for Homeless Youth
The Covenant House New Jersey is New Jersey’s largest privately funded provider of food, shelter, and supportive services for teenagers experiencing homelessness. Cosponsorship support from the Foundation enables the agency to provide legal services for youth to help them overcome legal barriers across many legal categories including immigration, family, consumer, employment, and municipal court levels.

“Our Youth Advocacy Center staff attorney has made a difference in the lives of many youths experiencing homelessness. Services provided include helping to secure identification or a passport needed for residency, IRS filings and other matters; merging court cases and negotiating with employers and landlords to resolve issues.  Our goal is to help homeless youth move onto to independent living and financial independence.”

The deadline to submit a grant application is Jan. 27, and this year’s list of cosponsorship grant winners will be announced this spring. Learn more about our cosponsorship program and partners at njsbf.org.

Originally published January 16, 2023
Bar Report of the New Jersey State Bar Association