As Supervisory Attorney of the Medical-Legal Partnership project in the Public Benefits Practice Group, Alice Setrini is busy taking legal aid to innovative places. Together LAF, Erie Family Health Center, and Loyola University School of Law have created the Health Justice Program, a revolutionary and expansive way of looking at poverty law.
“We have such limited resources, so our partnerships are about targeting those resources in order to impact the most people possible. For example, we see lead poisoning in a concerning number of children, and then we see that it’s in a specific housing area. Then we see that the housing is occupied by a minority population living in poverty. Suddenly the case is not just a medical case, nor just a housing case, but also a case of civil and racial injustice as well. Everything is interconnected and the point of MLP is to address those intersections.”
In this case, and in many MLP cases, it becomes a matter of not one or two families, but of helping- in an immediate and tangible way- an entire population. As with any new venture, there are challenges- coordination and communication become particularly critical when the cases cover such wide legal and medical ground- but because of the partnerships in the Health Justice Program, progress is made. “It’s always two steps forward one step back,” Alice admits, but she’s driven to make those steps forward as large as possible.
For Alice, equal justice is an ideal to strive for, and LAF is a place where she can work towards that ideal. However, LAF cannot do it alone, and so we strive to make meaningful partnerships with other organizations and individuals as committed to equal justice as we are. You can partner with us, and have a tangible impact on Chicago, by making a tax-deductible contribution to support the work of advocates like Alice. Donate online at www.lafchicago.org.