SeniorLAW Center Services

SeniorLAW Center provides a wide range of services in our mission to protect the legal rights and interests of the elderly.

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SeniorLAW Center provides a wide array of civil legal services across Pennsylvania. With offices in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties, as well as statewide services for older Pennsylvanians through its statewide PA SeniorLAW HelpLine, we pursue justice for older people. Please click here for more information on how to access those services.

Our services include the following:

DIRECT LEGAL SERVICES AND REPRESENTATION. Each year, SeniorLAW Center provides direct, individual legal services and representation to thousands of seniors in the greatest economic and social need which enable them to keep their homes, terminate family violence, rectify consumer and financial exploitation, and gain custody rights over children in their care. SeniorLAW Center’s model of service combines the efforts of its legal staff of attorneys and legal assistants with a panel of dedicated volunteer attorneys. We focus on problems in the major areas of housing, family law, elder abuse, financial exploitation, consumer protection, and advance planning. Within these areas, our priority areas of law are the following:

Housing: landlord/tenant matters, evictions, homeownership matters, mortgage foreclosures, tax foreclosures, sheriff sales, clearing title to property/tangled titles, deed transfers, real estate and inheritance taxes, other housing problems facing older homeowners and tenants

Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation: prevention of elder abuse, family violence, financial exploitation, defiant trespass, other family law problems

Grandfamilies/Kinship Care: custody and support for grandparents raising grandchildren and other kinship caregivers, grandparent visitation

Advance Life Planning: simple wills, healthcare and financial powers of attorney, advance health care directives, living wills; administration of small estates; Medicaid estate recovery counseling. Most life planning services are provided by volunteer pro bono attorneys in partnership with SeniorLAW Center

Consumer Protection (limited services): consumer fraud, home repair contractor problems, unfair sales practices, collection and debt problems, property damage, utilities, warranties and contracts, other consumer problems

Other Civil Legal Issues: advice, information, brief services and referrals through the PA SeniorLAW HelpLine

COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND OUTREACH. SeniorLAW Center strives to prevent legal problems from occurring through extensive community outreach and education. Our staff frequently conducts community education and “know your rights” workshops, as well as outreach events throughout our local communities and at senior sites in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties and, through our Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine, in various diverse areas of Pennsylvania, and distributes educational materials addressing legal issues affecting elders. Click here for upcoming community-based events. Pursuing the belief that many legal and social crises can be prevented through knowledge and outreach, SeniorLAW Center educates seniors on their legal rights on topics with focus on prevention.

Presentations are available in English, Spanish and other languages upon request.

We ask for a minimum attendance of 30-35 participants for all presentations. All requests for community education and outreach presentations and professional trainings should be made via email to outreach@seniorlawcenter.org. Services are free, but we gladly accept stipends to support our staff time.

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING. SeniorLAW Center staff conducts professional training programs attended by other professionals working with older adults, to sensitize them to the legal problems facing the elderly as to further expand the scope of our work. Trainees include other lawyers, physicians, medical students, law enforcement officers, social workers, senior housing managers, housing counselors, mental health professionals, case managers, protective service investigators, in-home care workers, and others. Through this facet of our program, we expand and bolster our efforts to prevent, identify, and address legal problems facing older Pennsylvanians.

All requests for community education presentations and professional trainings should be made via email to outreach@seniorlawcenter.org. Services are free, but we gladly accept stipends to support our staff time.

ADVOCACY FOR LONG-TERM SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS. SeniorLAW Center’s staff also pursues advocacy for long-term solutions and responses.

Each member of the legal staff serves on and provides leadership to or works closely with: national organizations addressing the needs of our older population, local and regional task forces, coalitions and committees, legal and social service agencies, governmental units and entities, elected officials, bar association leaders and committees, law school leaders and many other key stakeholders in the legal services and aging networks, addressing the problems of older adults to seek systemic solutions and responses to problems affecting the lives of the elderly and their families. For more information on a special pro bono project in partnership with AARP, focusing on systemic advocacy, please click here.

ADVICE, INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICES

SeniorLAW Center provides legal advice, information, brief services and referrals to seniors, resolving some problems immediately and serving as an important gateway to a wide variety of legal and non-legal resources in the aging and legal services networks. We provide these services by telephone, in-person, and at various community sites. For access to services information, please click here.

Through the Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine (1-877-PA SR LAW or 1-877-727-7529), staff and volunteer attorneys give seniors across the state the information they need to protect themselves and their property, to ensure their rights are not violated, to make important personal planning decisions, to resolve a wide variety of legal problems, and, when necessary, to obtain additional assistance. For more information, click here.