Steven Palmer

The Project

Steven advocated on behalf of elderly clients regarding elder abuse, neglect and, exploitation issues.

Steven wanted to help his community and give back by protecting and advocating for the elderly to ensure that they can enjoy the rights they deserve. He also aimed to be a voice and a pillar for those whose voices can easily be unheard and strived to act as a support them. This Fellowship program provided Steven and his community with skills and resources that could be used to help advocate for the elderly population.

Fellowship Highlights

Steven researched and conducted know-your-rights seminars to elderly clients at senior centers, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities to ensure that elderly residents and clients knew and understood their rights. Specifically, the elderly in low-income communities who suffer from elder abuse and financial exploitation had an advocate to defend and speak for them through his Fellowship.

 

The Project

Lonnie’s project seeks to ensure equal justice to low-income veterans and military families with legal issues.

As a Fellow, Lonnie will:

  • Conduct educational outreach
  • Provide legal aid clinics
  • Attend housing court

The Inspiration

Lonnie is a veteran who lives with minimal means while supporting two children.

The Project

Cassandra provides civil litigation services to low-income veterans and their families.

As a Fellow, Cassandra will:

  • Administer know your rights presentations
  • Conduct clinics
  • Attend stand-downs
  • Educate providers

The Inspiration

“I am in the military myself. I relate to many of the veterans. The veteran community is family to me,” Cassandra says.

The Project

Joe Cassidy-Schaffer is a 2017 Equal Justice Works Fellow serving in the New York State Family Security Project.

As a Fellow, Joe provides essential and often complex immigration legal services for residents of a 14-county region in Western New York who do not qualify for other low-income programs, or have needs that are beyond the resources available through other local agencies.

The Project

This Fellowship helped survivors with a range of civil legal issues. Some of these legal issues included accessing public benefits, appealing unfavorable SSI/SSD claims, obtaining child support and custody/visitation, assisting with name changes and vacating criminal convictions. As a Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow, Michelle provided civil legal services for survivors of human trafficking in the Western New York area. 

Western New York, like much of the country, has a significant number of unidentified individuals who are being trafficked. Michelle partnered with other local agencies and courts to help provide training to help identify and respond to human trafficking. These agencies served as referral sources. Michelle also plans to distribute flyers and Know Your Rights brochures to various organizations throughout Western New York. 

During law school, Michelle participated in a clinic that focused on women’s rights. Through the clinic, she worked with human trafficking survivors and prepared vacatur motions. Michelle also has a master’s degree in social work, which has given her an in-depth knowledge of trauma. As a social worker, she worked in a domestic violence shelter and became familiar with how human trafficking and domestic violence often intersect. 

The Project

Lori designed the Self Help Law Project, an effort to design and implement strategies to address the growing needs of pro se litigants. Through the development, coordination, and delivery of self-help resources and community education programs, this project provides a much-needed resource to low-income Montanans and access to justice where there previously was none.

The Project

Alex focused primarily on the barriers and discrimination former inmate’s face when re-entering the general population. Alex worked with individuals, groups, and service providers through trainings, support activities and the production of written materials.

The Project

I co-administer the Law Students in Action Project (LSAP) with Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Attorneys Bethany Hamilton and Tahira Bland. LSAP is hosted by Legal Assistance of Western New York Inc. (LAWNY), an LSC-funded legal services provider with seven offices throughout western and central New York. I am continuing the LSAP tradition of expanding volunteer and pro bono opportunities for law students and private attorneys within LAWNY’s service area and helping to bridge the justice gap.

The Inspiration

The Project

I provide direct legal services to low-income borrowers/homeowners, including those with sub-prime or unconventional mortgages, facing default or foreclosure to enforce their civil legal rights and remedies. I represent borrowers in defending against foreclosure proceedings; in negotiations with lenders; in bankruptcy proceedings to restructure debt (and deal with legal issues, such as predatory lending abuses, late fees and excessive attorney fees), the goal of which will be to protect home ownership; and in other areas of civil law that may allow a borrower to preserve home ownership.

The Inspiration

The Project

As an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow in upstate New York, Sara’s mission was to provide direct legal services to those in need as well as to connect public interest-minded law students with organizations across New York State. The poor in rural upstate NY have unique challenges in accessing legal assistance. Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY) serves indigent clients in civil law matters. Sara’s contribution was two-fold: the Divorce Project which assists pro se clients in navigating the divorce procedure, and the Prisoner Re-entry Project which provides counseling to individuals whose criminal records limit their options for housing/employment.