2024 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Mónica Palma

Mónica Palma

  • Hosted by San Antonio Legal Services Association (SALSA)
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location San Antonio, Texas
  • Law school St. Mary’s University School of Law
  • Issue area Disability Rights, Health Care
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Mónica (she/her/hers) will leverage the collective-impact model to provide effective legal services and education to the special needs community at the Multi-Assistance Center (MAC) at Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio, Texas.

According to the 2021 Justice Gap Measurement Survey in the United States, 10.7 million people with a disability have a household income below 125% of the federal poverty level. 82% of these households had at least one civil legal problem in the past year, 48% had five or more, and 27% had 10 or more. The disparity in access for these families goes beyond income inequality. These families are dealing with an onslaught of medical, behavioral, and emotional challenges, trying to do it all with extremely limited resources. The Multi-Assistance Center (MAC) at Morgan’s Wonderland is a one-stop-shop model connecting special needs families to the resources they need.

Mónica has dedicated the past 19 years to serving the special needs community as a volunteer, educator, and clinician. She went to law school to increase her skillset and to continue to expand on her mission.

Fellowship Plans

Mónica will provide legal services in one convenient location where families are also receiving medical and social services and collaborate with these providers to serve families most efficiently. Mónica will provide community training on legal issues to families and MAC staff, host recurring legal clinics to provide direct no-cost legal services, and plan for the program’s long-term sustainability.

My lifelong goal has been to make a difference in the lives of special needs families. I believe this Fellowship is a perfect fit for me, as it will allow me to meet that goal by capitalizing on my experiences as a provider, a business leader, and an advocate.

Mónica Palma /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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