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Temple Legal Aid Office Receives Community Partner Award

The Temple Legal Aid Office has received a 2013 Community Partner Award from Liberty Resources, Inc. for their work serving people with disabilities.  Liberty Resources is the Center for Independent Living for the Philadelphia area.  Professor Spencer Rand accepted the award, which was given in recognition of ten years of legal service by the Legal Aid Office to Liberty's consumers.

Each week, Professor Rand and his students travel to Liberty, where they work with consumers on issues that allow them to function more independently in the community.  "Common requests include helping consumers direct who can speak for them at times that they cannot when medical and financial decisions have to be made by drafting powers of attorney and advanced directives.  We also help people navigate the public benefit system such as the Supplementary Security Income and Medical Assistance programs, particularly when consumers want to work and need to make sure that they still get medical benefits or income support when the work they can do does not provide them with sufficient income or health insurance," explained Professor Rand.  In accepting the award, Professor Rand noted that through this work, "students learn about enhancing consumers' power.  They learn that each individual has power within them to control their own lives and that a lawyer's role is to help the person express and exercise that power to advance their interests."

The Temple Legal Aid Office is funded in part through a grant from the Pew Fund, and receives additional support from the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board.

Written by Temple Law School

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