News

Equal Justice Works Launches Elder Justice Program

/ Press Release

Program Expands on Organization’s Work to Mobilize Lawyers to Address Elder Abuse and Exploitation in the United States 

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUGUST 27, 2020—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, today announced the launch of the Elder Justice Program, a two-year Fellowship program aimed at improving the national response to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Each year, millions of older Americans experience some form of abuse, neglect, and/or financial exploitation. Studies show that elder abuse—which includes psychological, physical, and sexual abuse, as well as caregiver neglect, financial fraud, and exploitation—affects about 1 out of every 10 people age 60 and older.

“We are pleased to launch this program dedicated to the incredibly important work of serving our elder community,” said Sara Morello, executive vice president at Equal Justice Works. “The Elder Justice Program builds on the organization’s successful history of equipping public interest lawyers with the resources they need to help victims of elder abuse obtain justice and restore their dignity, safety, and financial security.”

The Elder Justice Program will place 22 Fellows (lawyers) at legal services organizations across the country where they will address the gap in civil legal services for victims of elder abuse and exploitation, with a special emphasis on serving rural communities.

Fellows will work on wide-ranging civil legal issues such as financial exploitation, housing, protection orders, guardianship, and public benefits. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fellows will use creative and innovative approaches to conduct safe and effective outreach to meet the legal needs of their clients. Throughout the Fellowship, Equal Justice Works and its program partner Justice in Aging will provide training and technical assistance to Fellows.

Over the past three decades, Equal Justice Works has awarded more than 2,000 Fellowships to lawyers committed to public service. More than 85 percent of Fellows remain in public service, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country.

The Elder Justice Program is supported under grant 2019-V3-GX-K033, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this press release are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. This federal funding is supplemented by funds from private donors.

Visit here to meet the Fellows in the Elder Justice Program and click here to learn more about how you can support Equal Justice Works in its efforts to mobilize lawyers to provide legal services to communities in need.

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About Equal Justice Works

Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. We bring together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of our Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country.

Contact
Heena Patel
Communications Manager
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202.466.3686

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow