Photo of Vanessa Arrieta

Vanessa Arrieta

  • Hosted by Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc.
  • Sponsored by U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime
  • Service location West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Law school Florida State University College of Law
  • Issue area Elder Abuse
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Elder Justice Program

The Project

Vanessa’s Fellowship supported socially and economically vulnerable seniors in the rural areas of Palm Beach and Hendry Counties in Florida, by providing assistance through direct legal services, outreach, and education.

After she graduated from law school, Vanessa worked tirelessly to help economically disadvantaged communities. Her first job at Legal Aid involved helping victims of domestic violence who could not afford a private attorney in the areas of family law including, but not limited to, divorce and paternity actions. The biggest challenge of that project was when the victim was still financially dependent on the abusive party and cohabitation existed between the parties. Vanessa assisted her clients in getting injunctions, alimony, child support, and resolving any property disputes. This is the kind of work that makes her feel proud of what she does.

Fellowship Plans

Vanessa’s project aimed to reduce older individuals’ susceptibility to crimes of financial fraud, exploitation, and abuse through trainings and outreach, and to remedy the deleterious effects of these crimes when they occur by advocating for victims’ rights and providing full-scope representation when needed. Vanessa’s outreach activities focused on rural underserved communities throughout the two-county service area and included presentations and distribution of brochures and flyers at senior community centers.

Media

Improving the National Response to Elder Abuse and Exploitation

Tackling the Gap in Civil Legal Services for Victims of Elder Abuse

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