spotlight

Seeing the Community’s Need for ALRP Services

Amanda joined the ALRP Board when two long-time Board members from Jones Day, where she’s an Associate, were ready to step down. “I’d already expressed an interest in learning more about ALRP,” she said. “It was important for me to do something to support the LGBT community. Coming to the Bay Area it’s been startling for me to see how big an impact HIV/AIDS still has in this community.

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Honoring a Loved One by Seeking Justice for Others

Our family lost my uncle to AIDS 25 years ago,” said ALRP Board member Matt Richards. “He passed away right on the cusp of when antiretroviral treatments were becoming effective. So for my family, AIDS has always been a deeply personal issue, and my involvement with ALRP has been a way for me to honor him. To be involved in the fight he wasn’t able to carry through himself.”

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Even Heroes Need a Hand

Eloise was contacted by her long-term disability insurer for the first time in two decades. After receiving disability benefits for 20 years, the insurance company called out of the blue to tell Eloise that her policy was being reevaluated. Eloise’s access to housing and healthcare were now in jeopardy. Eloise’s case is just one in many that demonstrates how legal struggles often leave our most vulnerable clients feeling intimidated and insecure.

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Dmitri Helps Save His Client’s Housing

When ALRP Staff Attorney Dmitri Pikman’s elderly client was in danger of being evicted, he knew it was going to take more than a persuasive letter to solve his client’s problems. “In addition to being HIV+ the client had a host of other disabilities,” said Dmitri. “He’d been living in his apartment building for over twenty years, and his housing was in jeopardy because the landlord needed to do building-wide pest control measures…”

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Helping Her Community Every Day

When she looks back on her 10-year ALRP career, Managing Attorney Sara Malan remembers the people she’s served. “Soon after I started at ALRP as a staff attorney I did my first emergency will,” she said. “I went to the hospital to help a client. It was very emotional, and I was so glad to have done something so useful…”

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Turning Heartfelt Lessons into Justice Today

Jeff Jacobi, an ALRP Board Executive Committee member, says he likes to stand up for people who have been marginalized. That might be because of his upbringing in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which taught him in more than one way about the importance of helping others. “The people there are more trusting than they are in San Francisco,” he said. “The natural inclination when we meet people is to think: how can we help them?”

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David Brings It All Together for Clients

When ALRP Board Member David Tsai wrote his law school admissions essay describing a client he would be excited to help, he envisioned a transgender, HIV+ person from Mexico. “Just by chance,” he said, “when I became a lawyer the first pro bono case I took on happened to be an HIV+ transgender woman from Mexico.”

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Going Above and Beyond for Her Clients

Panel Attorney Mary Catherine Wiederhold recently had a sobering moment in court while representing an ALRP client in an eviction case. When the issue came up about my client being HIV+, the judge seemed to downplay the impact of HIV. said Mary Catherine. ALRP Staff Attorney John Fasesky was with me, and he told her about the discrimination that people with HIV face every day.

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Danielle’s Commitment to HIV/AIDS Causes

Until recently, Danielle Barnes was volunteering seven days a week for HIV causes, splitting her time between ALRP and an HIV counseling position and somehow managing to get in some time at a retail job to pay the rent. Danielle arrived in San Francisco in 2011 immediately after graduating from Whitman College with a bachelor’s degree in gender studies and a minor in anthropology.

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From Volunteer to Law Clerk to Lawyer

For me, one of the best things about practicing law is that I get to solve problems for people, said attorney Brian Trowbridge. Brian, a former ALRP law clerk, is now a Panel attorney. When I clerked for ALRP I was amazed by how many problems I could help solve without turning to the court.

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