SLS Social Security Disability Project Established

SLS Social Security Disability Project Established
Lisa Douglass (BA ’93, MA ’94)

SLS STUDENTS NOW HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO in-house pro bono work, thanks to the Stanford Law School Social Security Disability Project launched this fall by the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law. Providing legal services to indigent clients with Social Security disability claims, the project is directed by Lisa Douglass (BA ’93, MA ’94), a public interest attorney who joined the law school in April. The project is aimed at residents and day clients of the Opportunity Center of the Midpeninsula, a Palo Alto facility that provides housing and services for the homeless.

“The opening of the Opportunity Center in Palo Alto last year highlighted the large numbers of disabled homeless people who are right on the doorsteps of the law school and in need of legal representation for their SSI appeals,” says Douglass.

Under Douglass’s supervision, students and volunteer attorneys will conduct detailed intake interviews, represent clients at administrative review hearings before the Social Security Administration and in appeals to the Federal District Court, and lead community outreach efforts. The focus will be on individuals who face denials of their Social Security Disability claims, termination of previously approved Social Security Disability benefits, or claims to collect overpayments by the Social Security Administration.

“This project will help implement our goal of encouraging students, no matter their ultimate career path, to take on pro bono work while at law school and beyond,” says Lawrence C. Marshall, the David and Stephanie Mills Director of Clinical Education and associate dean for public interest and clinical education.