About SeniorLAW Center

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Dignity and Agency for Older People

We believe that everyone deserves a voice, yet older people are often silenced. This has created a vulnerable and underserved population in our society—a wrong that we are dedicated to making right.

Our goal is to transform lives through the law. We do this on an individual level, providing legal counsel to individuals in need of support, and on an institutional level, advocating for better public policy and greater systemic change.

We come to work every day to let older people know they are not alone, to embolden them with resources and representation, and to give to them what we all need: to be seen, heard, understood, and protected.

Our Mission

We exist solely to seek justice for older people by using the power of the law, educating the community, and advocating on local, state, and national levels.

Our History

SeniorLAW Center is an independent 501(c)(3) legal services agency founded in 1978 as Senior Citizen Judicare Project by members of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Our original focus was to protect the legal rights and interests of Philadelphia’s needy, elderly residents through a volunteer-driven program.  We now have an array of programs and services and a diverse staff of lawyers and advocates, and we have expanded our outreach and services to communities throughout Pennsylvania.

Today we serve approximately 10,000 older Pennsylvanians each year, including victims of abuse and financial exploitation, older adults facing housing crises and homelessness, and grandparents raising grandchildren.

The Need We Address

Pennsylvania has the third highest percentage of people over 60 in the United States and the fifth largest population of older Americans. Pennsylvania’s 67 counties cover an expansive rural area bounded by the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metropolitan areas. They are home to some of the largest and poorest concentrations of older adults in the country.

Philadelphia’s senior citizens experience a higher poverty rate than their peers in other parts of Pennsylvania and the nation. Almost 20% of Philadelphia’s elders are poor or economically vulnerable. Most are women. Many are raising young children, whose birth parents are deceased, incarcerated, ill, or substance addicts.

Legal Representation

Since our founding more than 40 years ago, we have provided free legal representation for over 50,000 individuals, focusing on the most vital and recurring legal problems facing older people in our communities: housing, abuse, financial exploitation, consumer problems, grandparent custody, and personal and end-of-life planning needs.

Education

SeniorLAW Center has educated more than 75,000 individuals through community education workshops informing older adults of their legal rights and helping avoid future legal crises, and we have assisted over 100,000 older adults through advice, information, and referral services to other agencies.

Professional Training

We have also conducted professional training for thousands of professionals who work with older people in other fields to sensitize them to the legal problems facing their consumers, patients, and clients.

Advocacy

Our staff serves on numerous committees, task forces, and coalitions addressing the needs of seniors, women, immigrants, families, and the poor to provide advocacy and address systemic solutions to the problems facing our clients.

Our Sponsors

SeniorLAW Center is supported by a wide diversity of generous funders and partners, including foundations, corporate and law firm sponsors, and individual donors who make our work possible. We are supported in part by funds received by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Aging, through a contract with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, as well as the city of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Commission for Crime and Delinquency, and many other local, state, and national partners. 

If you’d like to join us in this important work, please visit our donation page and make a gift. Every contribution makes an impact.

Help Support SeniorLAW Center

Your support of SeniorLAW Center helps to ensure that Pennsylvania’s elders may age with dignity and safety, free from abuse and violence, in their homes and neighborhoods.

Watch the SeniorLAW Center Video