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Brendan Wood

  • Hosted by Legal Aid of West Virginia
  • Sponsored by Equal Justice Works Text-to-Give
  • Service location Charleston, West Virginia
  • Law school West Virginia University College of Law
  • Issue area Employment, Housing - Affordable Housing/Microfinance, Opioid Epidemic
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Brendan helped West Virginians recovering from substance use disorder through Medication Assisted Treatment regain control of their lives by educating communities and removing legal barriers to their recovery through advocating for their access to employment, housing, and economic stability.

While there is no one demographic that been left unharmed by the opioid crisis, rural West Virginia has been the epicenter. Those lucky enough to survive and begin the long road to recovery face substantial socioeconomic barriers, including access to legal counsel to protect their rights.  Brendan’s project with Legal Aid of West Virginia provides access to legal counsel to address all the underlying issues to effectively mitigate key relapse factors.

Fellowship Highlights

During the Fellowship, Brendan:

  • Maintained the states only substance use disorder medical-legal partnership.
  • Trained attorneys/advocates statewide on substance use disorder advocacy and person-first language.
  • Represented clients on expungements, employment, housing, custody, and license reinstatements.
  • Worked with community partners to raise awareness and combat stigma against people in recovery.

Next Steps

Brendan’s project has secured funding to extend until at least 2022 and he and his host organization are in the late application stages for long-term, sustainable funding. Brendan and Legal Aid of West Virginia plan to expand the project to additional counties and recovery organizations.


How the Pandemic Is Impacting the Opioid Crisis and People in Recovery

Helping My Community Take Action to Overcome and Heal from the Opioid Epidemic

Law graduate to offer assistance to those recovering from addiction

Wood '19 awarded Equal Justice Works fellowship

What it Takes to Keep a Promise

I became a lawyer so that I could help my community take action to overcome and heal from the opioid epidemic.

Brendan Wood /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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