On March 31, 2017, SeniorLAW Center’s Skadden Public Interest Fellow, Kristen Valosky, Esq., participated in a panel for Skadden’s Annual Fellowship Symposium entitled “Advocacy for High Risk Clients.” At this symposium, current and incoming Skadden fellows come together to learn about each other’s work, to connect with others in the public interest and Skadden communities, and to welcome those who will begin Skadden fellowships the following year.
Through the panel, Kristen had the opportunity to share her work on SeniorLAW Center’s first medical-legal partnership (MLP) representing nursing home-eligible, chronically ill seniors aging in place. The panel also included fellows from Lamda Legal, representing LGBTQ youth, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, representing formerly incarcerated individuals, and Bay Area Legal Aid, representing commercially sexually exploited youth. The panel discussed the importance of being trauma-informed in working with high risk clients, of using language that empowers clients and emphasizes their strengths, of combatting cognitive bias, and of using interdisciplinary collaboration to serve clients holistically. Through SeniorLAW Center’s MLP, SeniorLAW Center has supported and represented some of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable seniors who would not have access to free legal services other than through this innovative partnership made possible through the Skadden Public Interest Fellowship Foundation.