Photo of Adam Dexter

Adam Dexter

  • Hosted by Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.
  • Sponsored by U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime
  • Service location Olean, New York
  • Law school City University of New York School of Law
  • Issue area Elder Abuse
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Elder Justice Program

The Project

Adam aims to organize members of the western New York community who are in a position to make a difference to fight the widespread, multi-faceted, and vastly underreported abuse and neglect of older adults.

The nature and scope of elder abuse highlights how easily vulnerable members of our communities live in silent despair. Low-income, rural older Americans are especially vulnerable to consumer debt, identity theft, difficulties obtaining long-term healthcare, mistreatment by family members, and exacerbations incident to shame and isolation.

Adam grew up in Western New York, where an early consciousness of inequality and his own privileges motivated a social vision of personal success and led to a law school tenure focused on service to the least powerful and most vulnerable members of society. Social work, human rights, and non-profit legal services organizations share prominent roles in the ongoing American movement toward more widespread recognition of the dignity of all human beings. Adam feels at home with this Fellowship because Equal Justice Works is motivated by the pursuit of such human dignity recognition. Additionally, his deep antipathy for an amoral technocratic legal professionalism pushes him not only toward the mission of Equal Justice Works, but also toward big-hearted advocates and fundamentally fulfilling day-to-day collaborative work that makes a moral difference.

Fellowship Plans

Adam’s goal is twofold: to address the substantive needs of his client base as well as to educate the public about the extent of elder abuse, its warning signs, preventative measures, and resources available. Adam will run trainings for multi-disciplinary teams including sheriffs, social workers, superintendents, lawyers, laypeople, and his colleagues in legal services, informed by his background in human rights and political philosophy as well as his law practice representing older Americans in consumer, housing, bankruptcy, power of attorney, and healthcare matters.

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