The LGBTQ Legal Outreach and Education Clinic was initially founded in 2016 with generous seed grant funding. Now in its fifth year, myself and Margaret Fiori '21 are working in collaboration with Rutgers’ pro bono program to revive the initiative.
A partnership with the North Jersey Community Research Initiative Pride Center in Newark and the LGBT Bar Association of New York, the Clinic works to provide access to legal services through drop-in legal clinics that offer general consultations and provide clients information on legal services and resources best suited for their legal issues. Issues covered include employment, immigration, name change, and housing, among others. The Clinic is staffed by volunteer Rutgers law students who are available to provide general guidance and legal referrals.
Our inspiration to revive the Clinic came after Margaret and I noticed a lack of legal service providers in Newark that specifically cater to the LGBT community. It is quite important for the community to have access to legal service providers who know and understand the struggles that LGBT people face, as oftentimes clients feel unsafe disclosing information regarding their gender, sexuality or identity, in fear of negative backlash. We hope to continue expanding the Clinic in order to provide assistance to a larger number of community members.
The Clinic is held at the Pride Center in Newark on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:00pm and the last Saturday of every month from 12:30-2:00pm. While the clientele is primarily LGBTQ identifying individuals, the Clinic’s services are available to all.