2024 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Charla Boley

Charla Boley

  • Hosted by Benefits Law Center
  • Sponsored by DLA Piper, Microsoft Corporation
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school Seattle University School of Law
  • Issue area Disability Rights, Economic Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Charla’s project with the Benefits Law Center will focus on providing culturally and linguistically competent legal services and education to immigrants, people of color, and people with disabilities in South King County, Washington.

Families of color and immigrants living in South King County experience tremendous barriers to accessing disability benefits. For immigrants and families of color, the inability to access benefits places them at risk of income insecurity and homelessness. While household members may be eligible, many families are afraid to apply based on fear of immigration consequences. Many families have members who are receiving benefits but are unsure how to navigate or comply with the program’s rules because of limited English proficiency.

Charla was inspired to pursue disability law by her personal and professional experience. Her work in early education and housing exposed her to the importance of projects that recognize the intersections of race, income, and disability. She has seen loved ones and community members struggle to obtain and then keep Social Security benefits.

Fellowship Plans

Charla’s Fellowship will address these issues by providing legal services to immigrants and families of color in South King County on Social Security matters. Charla will also conduct monthly trainings and create self-help materials for the target community. Additionally, Charla will establish partnerships with organizations serving this community and recruit and train pro bono attorneys to increase the project’s reach.

My Equal Justice Works Fellowship has afforded me the opportunity to serve the low-income and disability community in South King County as a resource that empowers and supports the agency and voice of others. I am humbled to work on a project that values and uplifts the dignity and identities of people with disabilities.

Charla Boley /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Charla

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Photo of Susan Fleurant

Susan Fleurant

Host: Minnesota Disability Law Center / Mid Minnesota Legal Aid

Sponsor: Dorsey & Whitney LLP, U.S. Bank

Current Fellow

Christine Lehmann

Host: Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center

Sponsor: Equal Justice Works

Sara Pezeshkpour

Host: Housing Rights Center

Sponsor: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Photo of Megan Gordon

Megan Gordon

Host: Georgetown University Health Justice Alliance

Sponsor: The Art Lerner Memorial Fellowship

Current Fellow