Three New Fellows Selected for 2011-2012

Published in Center News


The Borchard Foundation Board of Directors selected three fellows in law and aging for 2011-2012 who start their fellowship year in September.

Evin Isaacson joins the Oakland office of the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) in working to mitigate the impact of state budget shortfalls that have put at risk hundreds of Medicaid optional benefit programs essential to the health, safety and well-being of the country’s poorest, sickest seniors. Evin will work with senior advocates across the country to identify common threats to services like in-home personal care, adult daycare, hearing aids, and prescription drugs, then compile a practice-oriented tool-kit of legislative, administrative and court-based strategies to aid eldercare advocates in combating service and funding reductions.  In addition, in partnership with Disability Rights California (DRC), Evin will assist NSCLC’s and DRC’s class action suits to enjoin cuts to senior-serving benefit programs and represent individual seniors affected by newly enacted service restrictions.

Evin graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in May 2011.  Originally from Evanston, Illinois, she earned her undergraduate degree in Public Policy from Brown University in 2005. She then worked for three years as a research analyst and legislative advocate in the Long Term Care Division of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Caroline Manley graduated from the DePaul College of Law in May 2011. She attended the University of Illinois for her undergraduate studies, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Minor in Afro-American Studies.  Caroline has worked with the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian – Adult Division, the Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney, and with AARP Foundation – Litigation.  Most recently, through the support of the Kott Gerontology Foundation, Caroline worked with the Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL) to provide legal services in a Chicago suburb.

During her Borchard Fellowship period, Caroline will expand on her work with CDEL, and implement four legal clinics in the Cook County?suburbs to ensure that seniors are able to access CDEL’s services. Caroline will work closely with attorneys and law students to staff ?the clinics and promote pro bono services.  Additionally, she will give presentations to the elder care community on the importance of?advanced directives, and what steps are necessary to ensure that the forms are executed properly while limiting the risk of abuse.

Rebecca Vallas will coordinate a three-part project to develop preventive strategies that minimize wrongful and needless denial, reduction, and termination of low-income seniors' rightful public benefits. Her project will include systemic advocacy at the local, state, and national levels; development of educational and training materials on elderly public benefits topics, supplemented by extensive community education and outreach to Philadelphia's seniors and senior-focused advocates; and representation of individual clients as a member of the Aging and Disabilities Unit of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.

Rebecca Vallas joined Community Legal Services of Philadelphia in September 2009 as a Skadden Fellow, where she launched the SSI Preservation Project, providing representation to elderly and disabled individuals facing cutoffs or denials of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for reasons not connected to their disability.  At CLS, she has also represented low-income individuals and families facing food stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other public benefits-related problems.  She has also engaged in extensive advocacy with the Social Security Administration and other federal agencies, as well as legislative advocacy, around public benefits programs that provide critical support to the low-income elderly, such as SSI.

Rebecca received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was elected Order of the Coif.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, summa cum laude, from Emory University, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa.