In 2003, Linda joined LCD as a Staff Attorney and Director of the Anti-Violence Initiative. Through the Anti-Violence Initiative, Linda represented victims of domestic violence in a variety of legal matters to help them break the cycle of abuse. Linda became Executive Director in 2008. Prior to joining LCD, she spent 20 years with the Defender Association of Philadelphia as a trial and appellate attorney. Linda also serves as adjunct professor at Arcadia University, as faculty for the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, and co-chairs the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Consumer Rights Committee. Linda graduated from Arizona State University and the Antioch Law School in Washington, D.C.
Prior to receiving her law degree from Temple University, Esther worked as a practicing social worker for more than 15 years. She received her MSW from Bryn Mawr. Esther served as a Staff Attorney at LCD from 1997-2004. She also worked as in-house counsel for Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and undertook policy work for Public Citizens for Children and Youth. Esther decided to return to direct service for LCD in the fall of 2008 as Managing Attorney. She handles a variety of family law and guardianship cases for LCD and works with clients to resolve social security and public assistance issues without the need to go to court.
Sherry Thomas began work with LCD as a Conwell Legal Fellow in January 2011. Before coming to LCD, Sherry worked with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger and Women’s Law Project as a member of Temple Beasley School of Law’s Public Interest Honor Society. As a staff attorney, Sherry handles a wide range of issues, including assisting clients with planning documents, obtaining guardianships and various domestic relations matters. Sherry serves as a board member of the South Asian Bar Association in Philadelphia and a liaison to the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth came to LCD in 2012 as a Conwell Fellow to work on-site at the St. Christopher's Hospital for Children Medical Legal Partnership (MLP). Before enrolling in law school, Elizabeth served as an Emerson Fellow at the Congressional Hunger Center, with a focus on the effects of poverty and malnutrition on school-aged children. While a law student at Temple University Beasley School of Law, Elizabeth continued working on Food Insecurity issues as a legal intern at Philadelphia Legal Assistance and a policy intern at FRAC in Washington, DC. As a staff attorney, Elizabeth works at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children MLP assisting patients and their families on a variety of issues including housing, income supports and public benefits. Elizabeth serves as the co-chair of the Emory Alumni Association of Philadelphia. She received her undergraduate degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tomas Bednar is a recent graduate from Temple University Beasley School of Law where he was the president of the Health Law Society and a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. Before entering law school Tomas received a Master's degree in Bioethics from the University of Pittsburgh. During his final year at Temple Tomas was awarded an Independence Foundation Public Interest Fellowship in partnership with the Legal Clinic for the Disabled to develop a Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) at a Philadelphia-area cancer treatment center. Tomas aims to be on-site at the center where he will provide free legal assistance to low-income cancer patients from the greater Philadelphia area. Prior to joining the Legal Clinic full time, Tomas interned with LCD for nearly two years and helped develop training materials for LCD's Philakids MLP at St. Christopher's Hospital.
Theresa was awarded an Independence Foundation Public Interest Fellowship to expand PhilaKids, the existing Medical-Legal Partnership between LCD and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, to St. Christopher's Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs. Theresa will focus on advocating on behalf of low-income children to obtain and maintain the Supplemental Security Income benefit. Theresa recently graduated magna cum laude from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Theresa worked as a legal intern at LCD for over two years prior to joining the staff full-time.
In 2012, LCD was selected as the first recipient of the “Duffy Fellowship’ which underwrites a Legal Clinic for the Disabled staff attorney’s full-time salary. Our Duffy Fellow, Elizabeth Oquendo, is the project coordinator at LCD’s Medical Legal Partnership (MLP), PhilaKIDS, at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. MLP integrates legal services into a medical care setting to work with and train doctors, nurses, social workers and healthcare staff to identify social determinants to health that are legal in nature that negatively affect health care outcomes, in order to make appropriate referrals for legal care.
You can find out more about Duffy + Partners at www.duffyfirm.com