The Center for Social Gerontology
2307 Shelby Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 tel: 734 665-1126 fax: 734 665-2071
tcsg@tcsg.org



STATE LEGAL SERVICES
DEVELOPMENT

 

Updated January 15, 2014

 

The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc. (TCSG), since its inception in 1972, has been a non-profit research, training and social policy organization dedicated to promoting the individual autonomy of older persons and advancing their well-being in society. TCSG has pursued this goal through a wide variety of projects, including serving since 1985 as an Administration on Aging-funded National Support Center in Law & Aging.

TCSG's mission is to help society adapt to the dramatic increase in the numbers of old and very old, and to insure that older persons at all socio-economic and health levels are able to meet their needs and use their talents and abilities in a changing society. We undertake to lead, and even prod, policy makers and others to consider carefully the implications of the aging of America in formulating social policies and programs.

In these roles, TCSG has, since the early 1970s, been actively involved in working on aging programs and advocacy related to the Older American's Act. A primary focus of TCSG's activities has been on legal services development on the national, state and local levels. A major part of our legal services development activities has been the promotion of the effective and efficient delivery of legal services for the most vulnerable older persons. A key component of a states' legal services delivery system and of its elder rights advocacy is the State Legal Services Developer, a position which originated in 1976 through the actions of the federal Administration on Aging and which now exists in all 50 states. TCSG has been deeply committed to the Legal Services Developer concept since its inception and has worked closely with the Developers in the 50 states since they began. TCSG also was instrumental in the creation of the National Association of Legal Services Developers in the late 1980s and continues to provide support to this important organization. In addition, TCSG played a significant role in the formulation and adoption by Congress in 1992 of Title VII of the Older Americans Act - the Elder Rights title - and particularly the State Elder Rights and Legal Assistance Development Program chapter of Title VII.

This web site on State Legal Services Development has been created to provide information and resources which will enhance efforts by Legal Services Developers, providers of legal services for the elderly, state and area agencies on aging, policymakers and others to promote the delivery of legal services to the most vulnerable older Americans.

LISTINGS OF LEGAL SERVICES DEVELOPERS & ELDER LAW PROGRAMS

Listing of State Legal Services Developers in 52 states & territories: Updated January 15, 2014: to access a printer-friendly, Adobe pdf version of the Legal Services Developers listing, click here.

Listing of State Long Term Care Ombudsman in 53 states & territories: This link takes you to a complete list of the Long-Term-Care Ombudsman on the National Citizen's Coalition for Nursing Home Reform website.

Listing of State Legal Services Providers for Older Americans: By State

Listing of Legal Hotlines for Older Americans -- AoA Site

Link to Legal Services Corporation site to locate all LSC-funded legal services programs in the nation: these programs serve low-income older persons and many also have Title IIIB OAA grants to serve older persons.

Links to other key Legal Services-related sites

Consumers' Guide to Legal Help on the Internet - ABA site

RECENT NEWS

Recent News about Legal Services & Elder Rights Developments: Updated April 12, 2011

NEW: Legal Needs of Older Ohioans: A 2008 Survey In December 2008 Pro Seniors and AARP Ohio State Office collaborated on a statewide legal needs study of Ohio seniors.  The 49 page report was authored by Brittne Nelson of Knowledge Management, with assistance from Rhonda Moore and Thomas Bedall of Pro Seniors.  Surveys were mailed to 12,000 Ohioans age 60+  during March – May 2008.  4,715 surveys were returned for a response rate of 39%.  The report details responses and trends for three subgroups, African American, low-income and vulnerable respondents, defined as seniors who are homebound, receive home care, reside in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or have mental or physical disabilities.  A demographic profile of respondents is included in the report, as well as an annotated questionnaire for the entire sample.  The report provides data about seniors’ access to legal services.  To see a copy of the full report in pdf format, please click above.

TCSG's Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act Web Site, with a Complete Unofficial Compilation of the 2006 OAA, as amended

Legal Needs of Older Floridians: A 2006 Survey This 2007 AARP publication, prepared by Erica L. Dinger, AARP Knowledge Management, reports results from the 2006 Florida legal needs study. The 62-page report provides data on the legal needs and concerns of older Floridians that include healthcare coverage, housing issues, hurricane repair, and consumer issues. Conducted in October through December 2006, surveys were mailed to 13,000 Floridians. Persons age 60 and older with incomes below $30,000 a year were targeted, and an over-sample of Hispanic Floridians was drawn. The response rate was 29%, with over 3,750 surveys returned. A demographic profile of respondents is included in the report, and annotated questionnaires for the entire sample and for the Hispanic respondents are included as appendices. To access a copy of this report in pdf, please click above.

Elderly Legal Assistance Program: Report on the Legal Needs of Seniors in Georgia This September, 2006 report was prepared for the Georgia Division of Aging Services by the Planning and Evaluation Section Quality Assurance Team in collaboration with the Georgia Legal Services Developer, Natalie Thomas. This 23-page report provides an assessment of the legal needs of Georgia's senior population. In the fall of 2005, the Division of Aging Services sent a survey form to 1,596 seniors; the response rate was nearly 30%. The survey was based on a similar survey done in Utah in 2004, and assistance with the Georgia survey was provided by TCSG staff and TCSG Consulting Attorney Jilenne Gunther, who was the co-author of the Utah study. The purpose of the study was to assess (a) the legal needs of Georgia's seniors, (b) their awareness of available legal services, (c) their experiences with and perceptions of lawyers, (d) the barriers seniors have with using lawyers, (e) legal issues that concern seniors, and (f) the legal services that would have the most benefit for them. To access the 23-page report, in pdf format, click above.

Legal Needs Assessment of Utah's Seniors This 2004 survey and report on the legal needs of Utah's older persons was conducted and written by Jilenne Gunther, J.D., M.S.W., Alan Ormsby, J.D., (Utah Legal Services Developer) and Nathan Stephens, B.S. The study assesses the legal needs of Utah's seniors, their perceptions of and experiences with attorneys, their awareness of current legal services, and the barriers to obtaining legal assistance. This 34-page study, with charts and graphs, is available in pdf format, by clicking above. The 6-page, 43-question, survey questionnaire which was used to conduct this assessment is available in pdf format by clicking here. To access a PowerPoint presentation by Jilenne Gunther titled Assessing the Legal Needs of Seniors describing the study and its findings, click here.

State Legal Assistance Development Program Study Prepared in October, 2003, by Natalie Thomas, Esq., Georgia Legal Services Developer, and Richard Ingham, Esq., Oklahoma Legal Services Developer, under a grant from the Borchard Center on Law & Aging. This landmark, 150-page study is available in pdf format by clicking above.

PowerPoint Presentation on Selecting a Title IIIB Legal Provider Prepared by Natalie Thomas, Esq., Georgia Legal Services Developer

Oklahoma's Law Establishing "An Office of Elder Rights & Legal Assistance Services Development" (Signed by Governor Keating on April 16, 2001)

OLDER AMERICANS ACT INFORMATION & LINKS

TCSG's Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act Web Site The Older Americans Act (OAA) was amended/reauthorized in the fall of 2006. As of April 2007, an official compilation of the OAA as amended had not been printed. To assist the many organizations that would find it useful to have a complete, compiled version of the OAA that incorporates the 2006 Amendments, The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc. (TCSG) has put together an UNOFFICIAL COMPILATION. We have italicized the language that was added or changed in the 2006 Amendments. We are posting the "Unofficial Compilation" in the following two ways on our website: as one complete version of the entire OAA; and, Title by Title of the OAA so that it can be downloaded by individual Title for those who only want portions of the OAA. The Compilation is in PDF format. This link is to TCSG's site for comprehensive information on the OAA, reauthorization of the OAA, and a complete UNOFFICIAL COMPILATION of the OAA as amended in 2006 and prepared by TCSG.

The Focus on Elder Rights Advocacy in the new Title VII in the 1992 Amendments to the OAA

THE ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF LEGAL SERVICES DEVELOPERS

State Legal Assistance Development Program Study Prepared in October, 2003, by Natalie Thomas, Esq., Georgia Legal Services Developer, and Richard Ingham, Esq., Oklahoma Legal Services Developer, under a grant from the Borchard Center on Law & Aging. This landmark, 150-page study is available in pdf format by clicking above.

Legal Services Developers: The Key to a Strong Elder Rights System

TCSG's COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE DELIVERY OF LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO OLDER PERSONS This guide, which has been in print form since 1988, with periodic updates, is now being updated; over the coming months, TCSG will be placing individual chapters of the Guide on this web site. Click below for the Introduction pages of the guide and each chapter.

Introduction Pages for the Comprehensive Guide

Chapter I: Legal Assistance Under the 2000 Amendments to the Older Americans Act: The Act, Regulations and Legislative History

Chapter 12: National Resource and Support Organizations

TCSG's GUIDE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF STATEWIDE STANDARDS FOR THE DELIVERY OF LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO OLDER INDIVIDUALS Statewide standards can be defined as a set of guidelines which describe and define the essential elements involved in providing high-quality, high-impact legal assistance to older persons in greatest need of assistance, and which set out the major responsibilities and roles of the key actors and agencies involved in the legal advocacy system.

This TCSG publication is a step-by-step guide to the process of developing statewide standards, based on the experiences of 18 states (as of 1994) which worked with The Center for Social Gerontology (TCSG) to develop standards.  Although the Guide is slightly out of date, the process described represents TCSG’s thinking on how best to approach this task, and reflects the learning from the many and varied experiences of the different states.  The Guide has been reviewed by the Administration on Aging and the process was endorsed by the Assistant Secretary for Aging, Fernando Torres-Gil, as a good approach to developing effective standards that will be accepted and followed.

Guide to the Development of Statewide Standards for the Delivery of Legal Assistance to Older Individuals

LEGAL NEEDS SURVEYS OF OLDER AMERICANS

Legal Needs of Older Ohioans: A 2008 Survey In December 2008 Pro Seniors and AARP Ohio State Office collaborated on a statewide legal needs study of Ohio seniors.  The 49-page report was authored by Brittne Nelson of Knowledge Management, with assistance from Rhonda Moore and Thomas Bedall of Pro Seniors.  Surveys were mailed to 12,000 Ohioans age 60+  during March – May 2008.  4,715 surveys were returned for a response rate of 39%.  The report details responses and trends for three subgroups, African American, low-income and vulnerable respondents, defined as seniors who are homebound, receive home care, reside in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or have mental or physical disabilities.  A demographic profile of respondents is included in the report, as well as an annotated questionnaire for the entire sample.  The report provides data about seniors’ access to legal services.  To see a copy of the full report in pdf format, please click above.

Legal Needs of Older Floridians: A 2006 Survey This 2007 AARP publication, prepared by Erica L. Dinger, AARP Knowledge Management, reports results from the 2006 Florida legal needs study. The 62-page report provides data on the legal needs and concerns of older Floridians that include healthcare coverage, housing issues, hurricane repair, and consumer issues. Conducted in October through December 2006, surveys were mailed to 13,000 Floridians. Persons age 60 and older with incomes below $30,000 a year were targeted, and an over-sample of Hispanic Floridians was drawn. The response rate was 29%, with over 3,750 surveys returned. A demographic profile of respondents is included in the report, and annotated questionnaires for the entire sample and for the Hispanic respondents are included as appendices. To access a copy of this report in pdf, please click above.

Elderly Legal Assistance Program: Report on the Legal Needs of Seniors in Georgia This September, 2006 report was prepared for the Georgia Division of Aging Services by the Planning and Evaluation Section Quality Assurance Team in collaboration with the Georgia Legal Services Developer, Natalie Thomas. This 23-page report provides an assessment of the legal needs of Georgia's senior population. In the fall of 2005, the Division of Aging Services sent a survey form to 1,596 seniors; the response rate was nearly 30%. The survey was based on a similar survey done in Utah in 2004, and assistance with the Georgia survey was provided by TCSG staff and TCSG Consulting Attorney Jilenne Gunther, who was the co-author of the Utah study. The purpose of the study was to assess (a) the legal needs of Georgia's seniors, (b) their awareness of available legal services, (c) their experiences with and perceptions of lawyers, (d) the barriers seniors have with using lawyers, (e) legal issues that concern seniors, and (f) the legal services that would have the most benefit for them. To access the 23-page report, in pdf format, click above.

Planning for the Legal Needs of Utah's Seniors This 2004 survey and report on the legal needs of Utah's older persons was conducted and written by Jilenne Gunther, J.D., M.S.W., Alan Ormsby, J.D., (Utah Legal Services Developer) and Nathan Stephens, B.S. The study assesses the legal needs of Utah's seniors, their perceptions of and experiences with attorneys, their awareness of current legal services, and the barriers to obtaining legal assistance. This 34-page study, with charts and graphs, provides excellent data, as well as a fine example of the value of such needs assessments as planning documents and as an essential document in fund-raising efforts for legal services for older persons. To access the full study, in pdf format, click above.

Survey Questionnaire for Utah Legal Needs Assessment: The 6-page, 43-question, survey questionnaire which was used to conduct the Utah Legal Needs Assessment (see above) is available in pdf format by clicking above. Such a survey could be utilized in other states to conduct similar assessments. In Spring, 2005, TCSG expects to publish an article in our Best Practice Notes describing how to conduct and utilize such legal needs assessments; the article will be available online.

PowerPoint presentation on Utah Legal Needs Assessment:Jilenne Gunther created a PowerPoint titled Assessing the Legal Needs of Seniors describing the Utah Legal Needs assessment and its findings. To access the PowerPoint click above.

POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ON SELECTING A TITLE IIIB LEGAL PROVIDER This PowerPoint presentation was prepared by Natalie Thomas, Esq., the Georgia Legal Services Developer, for a speech delivered to Area Agency on Aging directors and staff to assist them in understanding and implementing the requirements of the Older Americans Act regarding the selection of the "best entity" as their Title IIIB legal provider. The 15-slide PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded and adapted for your own use by clicking here

ELDER RIGHTS ADVOCACY

Elder Rights Advocacy & the LSC Restrictions: How Serious is the Conflict?

A Model for Statewide Elder Rights Advocacy: the Massachusetts Elderly Legal Coalition

REPORTING SYSTEMS FOR LEGAL SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY

Outcome Measures for Title IIIB Legal Assistance Programs: An Introduction

Reporting & Title IIIB Legal Assistance Programs; also, the Michigan Statewide Reporting System

INFORMATION & DATA ON OAA LEGAL SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY

1997-2005 National Aging Program Information System (NAPIS) OAA State Program Reports (SPR), with National Tables, State Profiles including expenditures and units of service for legal services, and SPR Specifications.

TCSG's National Survey of Legal Assistance for the Elderly: 1998

ELDER LAW NEWSLETTERS

Link to TCSG's Best Practice Notes Newsletters

KEY LINKS

Link to Administration on Aging overall web site

Link to Administration on Aging "Elder Rights & Resources" site

Link to Legal Services site of National Aging Information Center

Link to National Association of Area Agencies on Aging "links" site which has links to local Area Agencies on Aging sites

Link to Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center, with listing of all State LTC Ombudsmen

Link to Legal Services Corporation's Online Resource Library


The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc.
2307 Shelby Avenue Ann Arbor MI 48103
Tel: (734) 665-1126  Fax: (734) 665-2071
Email:  tcsg@tcsg.org