VLJ’s mission is to improve the lives of economically disadvantaged adults, children, and families in New Jersey by empowering them with tools, advice, and pro bono representation with the goal of securing fair and equal treatment within the legal system. Created in 2001, VLJ now provides free legal services throughout the state with more than 1,500 attorneys and paralegals who volunteer their time for one or more of VLJ’s legal programs.
Heinzelmann volunteers at a tenancy clinic, which VLJ runs in conjunction with the firm and Prudential. The clinic is designed to advise Essex County tenants facing imminent eviction. VLJ praised Heinzelmann’s “dedication to legal justice” by choosing to stay with his clients beyond the usual scope of the clinic, and the organization has noted his “overwhelmingly positive” results for tenants.
In addition to volunteering with VLJ, Heinzelmann has handled pro bono criminal appeals for the New Jersey State Office of the Public Defender and has represented victims of domestic violence through Partners for Women and Justice. He says, “Pro bono work provides growth as an attorney in addition to a rewarding feeling.”