Redwood City, CA (March 5, 2013)– Today, Facebook, Fenwick & West and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County announced their renewed commitment to affordable healthcare clinics. Attorneys from Facebook and Fenwick join the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County each month to donate their time advising low-income seniors and disabled adults how to qualify for affordable healthcare coverage. The clinic particularly serves individuals and families whose income puts them just slightly above the Federal Poverty Level, but is nonetheless insufficient to cover their healthcare expenses in addition to basic necessities.
“Too often we see seniors deciding between paying their rent or purchasing their medicine,” said Tricia Berke Vinson, Directing Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. “Medi-Cal laws are terribly complex, and our clients are often confused and hopeless which is why Legal Aid is grateful to the Facebook and Fenwick team for giving their time to help our clients who would otherwise have nowhere to turn.”
The clinics, established by the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County in partnership with Fenwick & West, offer counseling to clients on eligibility for free and low cost public insurance programs such as Medi-Cal and In Home Supportive Services. Facebook’s participation in this volunteer effort began in April 2012 and since then the program has offered seven counseling sessions, donated 266 hours and helped 85 individuals qualify for affordable healthcare coverage.
“Facebook views this partnership as an important part of our on-going effort to be a good neighbor in our local community,” said Nair Flores, who co-chairs Facebook’s legal pro bono group with Ed Palmieri. “It’s rewarding to see our legal team provide this service to people in San Mateo County,” said Kelly Simpson, a volunteer in the program.
Patrick Premo, Litigation Partner and Pro Bono Program Chair at Fenwick said, “Partnering with Facebook and Legal Aid in a way that benefits seniors, disabled adults and others in need of access to legal services and affordable healthcare is extremely rewarding. This is a wonderful program and we’re honored and proud to support it.”
Prior to each monthly clinic in San Mateo, Vinson provides training and information about the Medi-Cal laws to new attorney participants as well as refresher information to all volunteers. Clients, who have called the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County in advance to schedule an appointment, sit down with a member of the team and receive advice and counsel about the programs that are available to help them obtain affordable healthcare coverage.
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Established in 1972, Fenwick & West is one of the nation's premier law firms with extensive expertise in venture capital, public offerings and other corporate finance, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust and employment and labor law. To find out more about Fenwick, visit our website at www.fenwick.com.
About The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
The Legal Aid Society is a private, non-profit law firm that provides free legal services to disadvantaged people in San Mateo County. Since its founding in 1959 Legal Aid has served over 175,000 clients throughout our community. To find out more about The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, visit our website at www.legalaidsmc.org.
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