Lauren Eldridge Excels in the 2019 Peter Greenfield Senior Advocacy Summer Internship
This summer, rising 3L Lauren Eldridge was selected by the Washington State Bar Association’s Elder Law Section for the 2019 Peter Greenfield Senior Advocacy Summer Internship. Along with an auspicious internship with the Seattle office of Columbia Legal Services (CLS), she also received a $5,000 stipend.
In just the first few weeks, Eldridge helped a homeless, blind, diabetic senior who suffers from cancer. She worked with other clients who were at risk of being discharged from their assisted living facilities and updated 11 community publications to inform low-income seniors about accessible benefits. Eldridge also researched legal issues for caseworkers and social workers who came to CLS for input on complex legal questions related to low-income seniors. Her supervisors at CLS said that the information and analysis she provided was “at a level far beyond her two years of law school.”
“I have loved working at CLS this summer,” Eldridge said. “It has been great to be in an atmosphere where everyone is so passionate about their work. Whether it be facing homelessness or losing Medicaid benefits, elder law dips into so many different issues.”
The elder community is often one of the most vulnerable communities, and getting to work on issues that benefit our elder clients has been really rewarding. ~Lauren EldridgeCLS was equally pleased with Eldridge. Ann M. LoGerfo, the directing attorney of CLS’s Basic Human Needs Project called Eldridge “a truly superlative candidate” who jumped enthusiastically into her work. LoGerfo was also thankful for the WSBA Elder Law Section’s contributions to the program. “Your support of engaged law students, committed to elder law for those with no other help, is so gratifying. Lauren would not have been able to support herself in Seattle - from Gonzaga - without this generous donation,” she said.
Assistant Dean of Professional Development Laurie Powers was also appreciative of the collaborative partnership between Columbia Legal Services and the WSBA Elder Law Section for making the Peter Greenfield Elder Law Internship available to Gonzaga Law students. "We are so proud of Lauren for the impact that she is making to improve the lives of low-income seniors, and for carrying out Gonzaga Law’s longstanding commitment to serving the vulnerable," Powers said.
As for the mission of public interest law, Eldridge felt fortunate to have the opportunity to work under such experienced attorneys. "CLS offers help to so many people who otherwise wouldn't have anyone to advocate for them, and I'm excited to help support that mission."
About the Peter Greenfield Senior Advocacy Summer Internship
Over his distinguished 40-year career, attorney Peter Greenfield worked tirelessly on behalf of thousands of seniors living in poverty in Washington. He was also an active member of the WSBA Elder Law Section. The Section established the Peter Greenfield Senior Advocacy Internship in his honor. This opportunity provides for a summer internship in elder law at Columbia Legal Services, a non-profit legal aid organization dedicated to serving very low-income and marginalized populations. For more information about Greenfield's career and this internship, click here.