Duffy Firm Funds Legal Clinic for the Disabled Fellowship

Tom Duffy, center, congratulates (from left) Eileen Carroll, Elizabeth Oquendo and pediatrician Dr. Daniel Taylor on their work at St. Christopher's Hospital.
Eileen Carroll, Tom Duffy and Elizabeth Oquendo at the Medical Legal Partnership office of St. Christopher’s Hospital

(Philadelphia, PA) - The law firm of Duffy + Partners has funded a fellowship at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children that will support the efforts of the Legal Clinic for the Disabled (LCD) and its Medical Legal Partnership (MLP).

The LCD provides free legal services to low-income individuals with physical disabilities in the five-county region.  The MLP program places legal staff onsite at healthcare institutions that work with medical teams to alleviate hardships that can negatively affect health issues and conditions. 

“There are many social determinants to health,” explains LCD Executive Director Linda Peyton.  “For example, we have seen children repeatedly come to the hospital with asthma-like symptoms that, as it turns out, are the result of living in mold or rodent-infested conditions that their landlord won't address.  The Medical Legal Partnership affords these families the power to address those issues - both socially and medically - and improve their quality of life.” 

While some legal issues are regularly handled by external law firms that commit pro-bono hours to the LCD, including landlord-tenant, family law, benefits, special education and immigration issues, the number and type of matters handled internally has grown significantly in recent years.

“Many matters are now able to be handled in-house,” said Eileen Carroll, the LCD’s Staff Attorney at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.  “So, while the workload for our office has certainly grown, what has also grown along with it is the number of success stories we have helped write for families in Philadelphia.  We are extremely proud of that.” 

The Duffy + Partners Fellowship, supported by funds from the First Hospital Foundation, will underwrite the work of Elizabeth Oquendo, a 2012 Temple University Beasley School of Law graduate, who joined the St. Christopher’s MLP team earlier this year. 

“No matter where the law office is situated, the role of an attorney is to alleviate a hardship for another person,” said Tom Duffy.  “When you can leave that office at the end of the day knowing you addressed a problem like unsafe housing, hunger, or income insecurity…a problem that affects the health of our city’s children…that is a job well done.” 

The attorneys of Duffy + Partners have worked on behalf of the catastrophic injured and their families in Philadelphia for almost a quarter of a century.  To learn more about the firm, visit http://www.duffyfirm.com.