PLA Blog

Attorneys Must Cede Power to their Clients

Samantha DiGiuseppe, a Certified Legal Intern and Student Advocate at PLA's Family Law Unit, wrote the following reflection on the importance of survivors of violence to maintain agency in their legal cases and how attorneys must consider the power dynamics of their role as legal experts.

Key takeaway: Clients are the experts of their own lives and are best suited to make decisions about their family law case. 

Legal Aid as Harm Reduction: How Legal Aid Supports Recovery from Opioid Use Disorder

Harm reduction is about rights and respect for all people

Mental illness and substance use disorders should not prevent people from accessing legal aid. Erin Davison, AmeriCorps VISTA for the Medical Legal Community Partnership (MLCP), is working to build the capacity of the MLCP to treat the socio-legal needs of Philadelphians with opioid use disorders. To celebrate September at National Recovery Month, Erin highlights the MLCP's partnership with Medicine Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs and how attorneys can act as harm reductionists and have a positive impact on clients' recovery journeys.

How HUD’s Proposal to Evict 55,000 Children will Affect Philadelphia’s Immigrant Communities 

How HUD’s Proposal to Evict 55,000 Children will Affect Philadelphia’s Immigrant Communities

All communities need access to stable, affordable housing to grow and thrive. As a social determinant of health, sub-par housing can lead to many negative health outcomes such as asthma, stressed mental health, and lead exposure. Legal interns Lauren Davis of the Medical-Legal-Community Partnership and Maddi Gray of the Consumer Housing Unit discuss the state of stable, affordable housing for families and how the Department of Housing and Development’s proposal to limit immigrant families’ access to housing assistance may impact their health and livelihood.

All Sexual Assault Survivors Deserve Independence

All Survivors of Sexual Assault Deserve Independence

All sexual assault survivors deserve independence and autonomy as they build a life of their choosing, yet outdated PA laws make it difficult for single parents to do so.

Arly Smith-Pearson, Staff Attorney in our Family Law Unit, represents survivors of sexual assault and other forms of violence in child custody and protective order cases, often in collaboration with advocates from our partners at WOAR and WAA. To recognize April as sexual assault awareness month, Arly highlights how challenging the legal system is for survivors—even as they “win” their criminal and civil suits.

Four Things I Didn’t Know Before Becoming a Tax Advocate for Low-Income Taxpayers

Image of Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia with the text "Four Things I Didn’t Know Before Becoming a Tax Advocate for Low-Income Taxpayers" by Anthony Marqusee

Anthony Marqusee has been an advocate in Philadelphia Legal Assistance's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic since 2017. In this blog post Anthony describes four things he's learned about how audits affect low-income people.

PLA Wins Commonwealth Court Victory in Uber Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 25, 2018

Julia Simon-Mishel
Staff Attorney, Philadelphia Legal Assistance

Phone: (215) 981-3889