Jamie Wagoner

Wagoner_Headshot_021012_400kIn June 2012, Jamie Wagoner graduated with a Certificate in Public Interest Law from John F. Kennedy University College of Law, where he was honored to receive the Public Interest Advocate Award for 2012. Prior to his legal studies, Jamie studied philosophy at New York City University Graduate Center, received a Master of Music degree from the Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC, and was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree, with honors, from Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, Texas. His emphasis in his music studies was composition, and he was privileged to have a vibrant career as a composer, choral singer, and conductor’s assistant. Subsequent to a period of disability, Jamie changed his focus in order to help others who were disabled with the legal problems that arise in association with disability. Out of this concern for the disabled, Jamie worked at Disability Rights California as a summer intern, researching problems of abuse and neglect at skilled nursing facilities, where he had his first elderly clients. During three semesters of clinical work at JFKU College of Law, he worked in the Housing Advocacy Clinic and the Elder Law Clinic, providing services to residents of the Bay Area and representing clients in unlawful eviction actions and settlement negotiations. As an intern at East Bay Community Law Center, a legal clinic run by Berkeley School of Law, Jamie further developed his desire to serve senior and disabled clients by working in the health unit, helping a diverse mix of clients with HIV/AIDS on issues related to public benefits, California Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Insurance. Jamie is currently a member of the Equity Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, serving on the subcommittee concerned with the rights of seniors, the opportunities they are afforded, and the challenges they face in San Francisco.

During his year as a Borchard Fellow, Jamie will be working with Bay Area Legal Aid to provide direct legal services to low-income LGBT seniors in San Francisco, primarily in matters concerning their SSI, Medi-Cal, In-Home Support Services, and other public benefits. The extensive resources of Bay Legal will also make it possible to represent seniors in other legal matters, such as problems with housing, domestic violence, or elder abuse. Jamie will be working to develop mutually beneficial relationships with a number of San Francisco organizations devoted to senior services, especially regarding services to the LGBT senior community, which is burgeoning in San Francisco. At the end of the fellowship year, Jamie hopes to have helped to foster relationships between Bay Legal, senior services organizations, and the LGBT community that thrive for many years to come. Jamie’s long-term goal is to advocate for seniors and the disabled, especially in their ability to access public programs that will provide them with the means to lead vibrant and meaningful lives within their established communities.