Pro bono work exists as more than a concept at Connell Foley – it is a fundamental personal mandate. By virtue of the skill, training, and experience that the profession involves, every attorney bears a unique responsibility to advocate equal justice and support for those most in need without access to justice or without the means to retain legal representation.
Our pro bono service draws upon firm resources to collaborate on matters as wide-reaching as civil rights, economic development, domestic violence, children’s issues, including custody, visitation and guardianship, housing, and homelessness. Whether acting on behalf of individual clients or larger entities, or through policy advocacy, our goal is to tackle injustice and support our community in meaningful ways.
Connell Foley formally opens many pro bono cases each year and readily accepts court appointments to provide pro bono counsel in both civil and criminal matters. The firm’s Pro Bono Committee supports our mission of giving back by providing leadership to ensure both the fulfillment and effectiveness of our pro bono efforts. We are proud that our efforts have been recognized, with several attorneys receiving lifetime achievement awards.
In addition to pro bono representation, Connell Foley gives back in other important ways. Our attorneys:
- Serve as volunteers on ethical and judicial committees
- Perform varied public service work
- Serve on governing bodies of educational institutions, youth sports and arts organizations, and local government entities
- Offer time and energy to countless other social service and community organizations
Furthering our commitment to the communities in which we work and live, our attorneys and staff have notably been involved with the repair of facilities and the negotiation of real estate issues so that nonprofit organizations can open a home to the needy, and in rebuilding a summer camp that provides underprivileged children with exposure to arts and cultural education. Many of our lawyers and staff also provide community service through an array of teaching, mentoring, and other educational assistance programs.
Connell Foley is committed to raising money to benefit charitable causes and, through financial dedications, to promoting growth and education of the youth of our communities. We have been involved with the funding of after-school programs and with the promotion of a corporate internship program that provides students with real-world job experience while allowing participants to earn a large portion of the cost of their education. An initiative in 2011, Connell Foley established an Endowment Scholarship at Seton Hall University School of Law to provide needed financial support to talented students of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds who wish to pursue a legal career.
For the past 15 years, Connell Foley attorneys and staff members have participated in and supported Rebuilding Together Jersey City - initially working on single family houses. As our experience and numbers grew we moved up to bigger projects including the Boys and Girls Club, Camp Liberty and St. Lucy’s Homeless Shelter. In 2016, the Connell Foley team helped out at Mary’s Place, a former convent in the Greenville section of Jersey City that was recently converted into a boarding home for single women in transition. Connell Foley volunteers assisted with painting, clean-up and other tasks that helped get the shelter up and ready for full occupancy. Connell Foley attorneys and staff members previously also participated in a silent auction that raised over $4,500 for the 2014 Special Olympic USA Games being held in New Jersey.
Rebuilding Together Jersey City (formerly known as Christmas in April Jersey City) is a non-profit organization that, in partnership with the community, rehabilitates the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly people who are physically challenged and elderly, and facilities of nonprofit organizations in need so that they may live in warmth, safety, and independence. Since the Jersey City chapter began in 1991, Rebuilding Together Jersey City has made millions of dollars worth of improvements to more than 320 homes and community facilities.
Whether through the pursuit of legal or non-legal opportunities, pro bono is an integral part of Connell Foley's mission.