Without the help of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS wouldn’t get the necessary legal counsel they need. And it’s not just an LGBT issue anymore. This affects everyone across the board. So I wanted to post some general info about them, to help promote the cause and to inform any readers in PA who might be in need of legal counsel and can’t afford to hire an attorney on their own. I’ll be posting more in the future on this topic, but here’s a general description of what they are all about.
Below is some basic info from their home page, and here’s their link: http://www.aidslawpa.org/alpp_history.htm
The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania is a public-interest law firm founded in 1988 by Temple Law School graduate David W. Webber to focus on AIDS-related discrimination cases. At that time, before the Americans with Disabilities Act, no laws protected people with HIV/AIDS from discrimination, so Webber relied upon laws that prevent a worker from being terminated except in cases of incompetence or other non-AIDS-related causes. Webber led the organization before handing the reins to Nan Feyler, now chief of staff in the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Current executive director Ronda B. Goldfein took over in 2000.
Now with a staff of 14 and a team of Drexel Law student-interns, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania is still the nation’s only independent public-interest law firm dedicated to AIDS and HIV. The organization serves all of Pennsylvania from its home base in Philadelphia. It has risen to the defense of more than 30,000 people free of charge, and has educated more than 32,000 others on AIDS-related legal issues.
In every corner of the commonwealth, information has been shared with doctors, dentists and other health-care providers; outreach workers; peer counselors; medical students; law students; college students; lawyers; people living in homeless shelters; the newly diagnosed, as well as long-term survivor support groups.
Each year, the nonprofit AIDS Law Project receives about 2,000 calls for assistance at its home office in Philadelphia. The agency also educates the public about AIDS-related legal issues, and works at local, state and national levels to achieve fair laws and policies. In 2009, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania represented 1,343 people in 1,713 legal matters.