2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

Learn More & Apply

Headshot of Laura Hannon

Laura Hannon

  • Hosted by Eastside Legal Assistance Program
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
  • Issue area Disability Rights, Elder Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2024
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Laura’s (she/her/hers) project with the Eastside Legal Assistance Program seeks to protect indigent seniors’ fundamental rights to age with dignity, autonomy, and self-determination by expanding access to less restrictive alternatives to guardianship and supporting appropriate protective arrangements.

The number of seniors with dementia in Washington state is expected to double in the next 25 years. These seniors, especially those with marginalized identities, are at risk of experiencing elder abuse and fraud via overreaching and unwarranted guardianships. There is a large gap in the provision of advance legal planning services in Washington, which is an important service that can help prevent guardianships. This issue is further compounded by a lack of federal and state data collection on guardianships. This fellowship seeks to target two populations of seniors vulnerable to elder abuse: those with Limited English Proficiency and those living in rural areas.

Laura grew up in rural Idaho and has helped her grandparents deal with the impacts of dementia. She is passionate about assisting others as they navigate the complexities of living with memory loss.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Laura will provide individualized legal assistance to seniors vulnerable to potential guardianship proceedings by assisting with, and advising in, the completion of advance planning forms, such as powers of attorney. She will also work to expand Dementia Legal Planning Clinics to rural areas and to communities with Limited English Proficiency in Washington. Additionally, Laura will engage in educational outreach to expand access to information about guardianships and plans to develop a comprehensive report to help stakeholders better understand and evaluate the state of guardianship proceedings in Washington.

Elder justice is increasingly important to the broader movement for disability justice, and I am grateful to be able to advocate for the rights of seniors with dementia. This Fellowship is an invaluable opportunity to serve low-income communities close to home.

Laura Hannon /
2024 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Laura

View All

Headshot of Rebecca France

Rebecca France

Host: Elder Law and Disability Rights Center

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Current Fellow

Photo of Kaitlyn Hartmann

Kaitlyn Hartmann

Host: The Bronx Defenders

Sponsor: KPMG LLP, The Sidley Austin Foundation

Amanda Glass

Host: Arizona Center For Disability Law

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Jen Samantha Rasay

Host: National Center for Law and Economic Justice

Sponsor: Faber Daeufer & Itrato