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Headshot of Gabriella Sayger

Gabriella Sayger

  • Hosted by Legal Aid of West Virginia
  • Sponsored by GE Healthcare, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Service location Elkins, West Virginia
  • Law school Appalachian School of Law
  • Issue area Family Law, Opioid Epidemic
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Gabriella’s (she/her/hers) project will provide legal help to support people in recovery from opioid use disorder in rural West Virginia. Through direct advocacy and outreach will Gabriella will create referral partnerships with local clinics as well as Family Treatment and Adult Drug Court programs.
There is an overwhelming need for legal services for people in recovery in north-central West Virginia, where no targeted legal assistance exists. Thus, Gabriella’s project targets the six rural counties served by Legal Aid of West Virginia’s Elkins Office.

Fellowship Plans

Gabriella’s project will partner with a regional community health center to serve patients in recovery and with the state court system to help participants in Randolph County’s Family Treatment and Adult Drug Courts. These courts offer families an alternative to loss of parental rights, and individuals an alternative to incarceration, if they engage in treatment and supportive services promoting recovery. By taking referrals from these “recovery courts,” the project will add to the court’s array of supportive services and meet a critical need by responding to the opioid crisis with both a proven model and a new partnership that will give rural West Virginians in recovery access to legal supports for stable housing, employment, and income.

Gabriella’s West Virginian heritage and family motivate her commitment to developing a sustainable project that supports people impacted by the opioid use epidemic in West Virginia.

My Equal Justice Works Fellowship has afforded me the opportunity to give back to my forever home, West Virginia. As a first-generation college and law student, I’m honored to use my education to make a difference in my community.

Gabriella Sayger /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

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Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation