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Best Practice

Vol. 6, Nos. 3 & 4

On Delivery of Legal Assistance to Older Persons

April 1994

Focus on Developers: Ellie Crosby, GA Legal Services Developer, Receives Paul Lichterman Award

An annual highlight of the Joint Conference on Law & Aging (JCLA) is the Awards Luncheon at which both the Arthur S. Flemming Award and the Paul Lichterman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Services for Older Americans are bestowed. The 1993 JCLA saw the eighth Lichterman Award bestowed on Eleanor M. Crosby of Atlanta, Georgia.

Like Paul Lichterman, Ellie Crosby began her career as a highly effective provider of legal services to older persons; and then, wanting to improve the overall legal assistance system, she turned to development work. As the Georgia Legal Services developer from 1988 to August of 1993, she was able to build a true statewide network of aging and legal professionals and unite them in a variety of efforts to empower older Georgians and improve legal services for them. Her outstanding success as a Developer caused her to be recruited recently by AARP to be its specialist on economic security and consumer issues in the Atlanta Regional office.

Among her many achievements are: organizing the first statewide elder rights forum in the country to study and plan a future elder rights agenda for Georgia; developing, with a carefully selected task force, statewide standards for legal assistance; chairing the State Bar Committee on Legal Services to the Elderly; playing a major role in the passage of Living Will legislation, in writing and publishing a pamphlet on how to select a nursing home, and in drafting the state's successful proposal to HCFA for a new insurance counseling program; organizing volunteer attorneys to conduct advance directives workshops and to discuss elder law issues on public television; and doing pro bono mediation for indigent persons.

In addition to all of her Georgia accomplishments and responsibilities, Ellie chaired the National Association of Legal Services Developers (NALSD). Under her leadership, NALSD flourished and, as a result, legal services development is improving nationwide.

Ellie Crosby continues the legacy of Paul Lichterman in her ideals, her vision, and her personal qualities. She is deeply committed, thoughtful, and serious about her work, yet finds both joy and humor in it. Undaunted by obstacles and nay-sayers, she has an uncanny ability to help diverse groups recognize their common goals and successfully pursue them. She is intolerant of injustice in law and society, but always willing to listen to and consider other people's opinions, even those with which she disagrees. And, while a very hard worker, she always makes time for personal and professional friends -- time to listen, to counsel, and to lend support to their efforts.

The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc.
A National Support Center in Law and Aging
2307 Shelby Avenue  Ann Arbor, MI  48103
Tel: (734) 665-1126  Fax: (734) 665-2071