January 01, 2015 EXP

Philadelphia’s SeniorLAW Center: A Crossroads for Elder Justice in Pennsylvania—An Interview with Executive Director Karen Buck

By Edward W. Madeira Jr., Joseph A. Sullivan

In 1978, 20 years before Tom Brokaw gave us the term “the greatest generation” and the average U.S. life expectancy had risen to 73.5 years, three forward-looking members of the Philadelphia Bar Association established a legal services project named “Senior Citizen Judicare Project” to serve the legal needs of the aging survivors of the “greatest generation.” It was a legal experiment in providing focused services to seniors, long before the field of “elder law” evolved and formal efforts to expose and stop elder abuse became more standard. The idea was to make free legal services available to at least a small segment of low-income seniors in Philadelphia—then and now home to one of the largest and poorest populations in the country.

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