2011 AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, Alison Ponder
Name of Host Organization: Volunteer Legal Services Program of the SF Bar
City, State: San Francisco, California
Issue area: Consumer Rights
My project provides legal assistance to low-income individuals who are struggling with debt and/or facing collection lawsuits brought by creditors or third-party debt buyers. It is frequently consumer debts – often medical debt, student loan debt or credit card debt used to pay for basic living expenses– that pulls people from the lower working class into the spiral of poverty. I run a biweekly Consumer Debt Defense and Education Clinic to provide counsel and advice to low income San Franciscans dealing with a variety of consumer matters. I also recruit and train volunteer attorneys to represent clients in debt collection litigation.
Words to live by:
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” --Albert Einstein