November 3, 2016
Southwestern Alumni are Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorp Elder Abuse Justice Fellows
SCALE alumni Stephanie Koguchi ’16 and Juan Carlos Moran ’14 are Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorp Elder Abuse Justice Fellows. These Fellows work in organizations that provide legal services to older adults who have been victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Koguchi and Moran are working at Bet Tzedek, a non-profit organization that provides free, expert legal advice and representation to low-income residents of Los Angeles.
In October, Koguchi and Moran traveled to Washington D.C. for a weeklong training from Equal Justice Works, which culminated in dinner to celebrate the organization’s 30th Anniversary.
“My area focuses on financial elder abuse, and I’ll be handling real estate and consumer fraud cases,” Moran explained. “And some of the work we’ll both do is provide training for those who provide legal services (pro bono attorneys, law students, etc) for those in need.
Koguchi works with the Bet Tzedek Caregiver/Elder Justice Unit. “I think we would both say that addressing the difficult issues that our clients face every day is what’s most gratifying,” she said. “I’ve been passionate about serving people with capacity issues and vulnerable people forever … We’re both passionate about getting law students and other new attorneys involved in this.”
Moran and Koguchi both worked in clerkships with Bet Tzedek while they were law students. In addition to representing clients, these Fellowships include work creating and supporting multidisciplinary teams of social workers, medical professionals, and law enforcement; leading know-your-rights sessions at senior centers, nursing homes, assisted living communities, and other community-based settings; and recruiting and training pro bono attorneys.
The Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellowship Program is one of the most productive and highly regarded national service programs in the country. AmeriCorps Legal Fellows make a lasting impact on the communities they serve by expanding the legal resources in low-income and underserved communities and facilitating pro bono opportunities.