The executive director of nonprofit South Jersey Legal Services said state budget cuts meant his organization would be laying off about a third of its employees - including about a quarter of its attorneys - by the end of the year.

Executive Director Douglas E. Gershuny said in a statement that his nonprofit had already cut $1.1 million from its budget in response to falling revenue from interest on legal trust accounts, which helps fund state legal-aid programs.

Latest Video

The agency provides no-cost legal assistance in some civil cases to qualified lower-income people in seven counties including Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland. The cuts mean it will handle about 3,500 fewer cases, Gershuny said.

The state budget adopted in June cuts funding for state legal aid programs by one-third, or $9.7 million, across the state, removing another $1.8 million from South Jersey Legal Services funding.

In response, the nonprofit said it expected to lay off 27 of its 95 employees, including 10 of its 43 attorneys, by year's end.

In its most recent tax filing, filed Aug. 12, 2009, the agency said it received $10.1 million in 2007 and $9.9 million in 2008 from all sources. It spent $9.8 million in 2007 and $9.7 million in 2008, and its net assets rose from $1.7 million in 2007 to $1.9 million in 2008.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.