Ronda B. Goldfein is in her 23rd year as executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, the nation’s only independent public-interest law firm dedicated to people living with HIV. She is listed among the top 100 HIV/AIDS activists in the United States by POZ Magazine, and was voted a “Super Lawyer” in a poll of more than 36,000 Pennsylvania attorneys published jointly by Law & Politics and Philadelphia Magazine. She is co-founder and vice president of Safehouse, a public health approach to overdose prevention that seeks to open a supervised injection site in Philadelphia. She chairs Philadelphia FIGHT’s Institutional Review Board and is a member of the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania’s Greater Philadelphia chapter. For most of the last decade, she has chaired the board of Brian Sanders’ JUNK, an avant garde dance troupe that performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra. A graduate of the University of Miami, she holds a J.D. from the Shepard Broad Law Center of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, and is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
Juan first worked with us as a student at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University, when he was part of the 2009-2010 Civil Practice Field Clinic, which we hosted in our office. Now, in addition to assisting the other attorneys with their cases, Juan has his own consumer debt, tax, estate planning, social security disability and student loan caseload. He is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. In 2014, he graduated from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law with a Masters in Law in Trial Advocacy.
Shamus joined the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania in April 2021 as a housing attorney advocating for clients facing a range of issues including eviction, housing affordability and unsafe conditions. Prior to joining ALPP, Shamus was a stay-at-home parent and volunteer attorney with Philadelphia VIP. He previously worked in international development and was a volunteer attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Shamus received a BA from the College of William & Mary and a JD from George Mason University School of Law.
Jacob started at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania as an intake volunteer and became our public benefits paralegal, specializing in preserving clients’ access to life-sustaining benefits. After a three-year break for law school at American University, he is back and continuing his public benefits work. He is developing a specialty in resolving post-entitlement SSI/SSDI issues (such as continuing disability reviews and overpayments) and in handling the complex interactions between Medicaid, Medicare, and the Marketplace. He also trains case managers and other advocates on public benefits matters and acts as the AIDS Law Project liaison to the annual LGBT Elder Initiative Will Clinic. Jacob enjoys biking and is proud to have seen the entire canon of both William Shakespeare and August Wilson.
John of Langer, Grogan and Diver joined the AIDS Law Project as a second of counsel in January 2019. John first worked with the AIDS Law Project twenty years ago, when he was at the Camden Center for Law and Social Justice, a nonprofit public-interest law firm he co-founded. The AIDS Law Project and the Camden Center for Law and Social Justice established our South Jersey office, which was then based in the AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey.
Charlotte manages the AIDS Law Project of Southern New Jersey in Voorhees, NJ. She works closely with the staff of the Kennedy and Cooper clinics to address legal barriers to care. After graduating from, Villanova Law School in 1979, she was Managing Attorney with Cape-Atlantic Legal Services. Charlotte was the Director of the Law Project of the AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey from 1999 to 2010. She continued to work on AIDS advocacy at the All About Hope office from 2010 to 2015, at which time she joined the AIDS Law Project. Her areas of expertise include housing law, especially foreclosures, loan modifications and Chapter 13 plans for repayment of tax and mortgage arrears. She also focuses on government benefits and Social Security disability law, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodations.
Anna first worked with us as a paralegal from 2011-2012. As the SERO Project Fellow, she focuses on policy reform nationwide to end the criminalization of people living with HIV. Prior to becoming the SERO Project fellow, she spent over five years working as a public defender in Southeastern Massachusetts. She has also been a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program and clerked for Judge Diana Maldonado of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. A graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Anna is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and New York and has applied for admission in Pennsylvania.
Yolanda has served as managing attorney at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania since 1993. Since joining the AIDS Law Project, she has represented people living with HIV at their Social Security Administration disability hearings and has won hundreds of thousands of dollars in retroactive benefits, for people who were wrongfully denied SSD or SSI. In 1998, she initiated the HIV and Immigration Project at the AIDS Law Project. She has successfully represented people living with HIV in getting asylum, legal permanent residency and US citizenship. Immigration lawyers across the nation frequently consult her for advice and technical assistance about overcoming the barriers to immigration for people living with HIV. Although the majority of her work involves Social Security and immigration, Yolanda also represents people living with HIV in a broad range of issues, including discrimination, private disability benefits and estate planning. She has negotiated settlements for people living with HIV who were fired from their jobs or refused dental treatment. Yolanda lectures and provides technical assistance on the issue of HIV privacy to various stakeholders including health care providers, medical students and medical case managers. A graduate of the University of Louisville and the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, Yolanda is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States of the United States.
Adrian has been an attorney with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania since he graduated from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in 2012. At the AIDS Law Project, he is lead attorney representing people living with HIV in public benefits appeals, legal name changes, estate planning and probate matters. As part of the AIDS Law Project litigation team, he has represented clients before administrative agencies, and in federal and state court in a variety of HIV-related discrimination and confidentiality cases. Adrian has worked to develop the AIDS Law Project’s policy advocacy regarding changes to Medicaid, HIV decriminalization, sex work decriminalization and sensible drug policy.
At the age of 14, John was passionate about helping his community and served as Youth Councilman for the city of Newark. He worked to close the gap between the youth and local government. At the age of 18, John began working with high-risk populations throughout the North Jersey region. He became involved with the North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI), a nonprofit in Newark. At NJCRI, John took on various roles, including HIV and Hepatitis C testing and working on a research project called the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS), which worked in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After moving to the Philadelphia area, John worked for the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office of the Philadelphia Department of Health to continue the work with NHBS, focusing on interviewing, testing, and reporting data to the CDC of findings of the research. John is the AIDS Law Project ‘s housing paralegal and Prevention Point of Philadelphia liaison, where he continues his work on serving underserved populations. John speaks English and Spanish, and loves to cook and travel in his personal time.
SayBria came to us as an intake volunteer in the beginning of 2018 while she continued her studies at Pierce College under their ABA accredited paralegal program. She enjoyed the work so much she joined the team full-time as a paralegal and primary intake advocate. SayBria has always interested in working with the community, and has given her time to AmeriCorps and small neighborhood organizations to help guide troubled youth.
Sarah is a partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan P.C., who has dedicated her career to creating systemic change for workers and individuals who are not being treated fairly. As volunteer of counsel for the AIDS Law Project, she litigates HIV discrimination and confidentiality cases. Sarah first became involved with the AIDS Law Project in 2006. Between 2007 and 2009, she served as the Shestack Public Interest Fellow at WolfBlock LLP, where she spent half of her time litigating cases for the AIDS Law Project. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and is the author of “CDC’s Call For Routine HIV Testing Raises Implementation Concerns,” an article published in the Harvard Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 2007; 35 (1):223-7. In 2010, Sarah was honored as an “Unsung Hero” by the Legal Intelligencer, Pennsylvania’s daily law journal, for her pro bono work with the AIDS Law Project.
Arlene is the kind voice answering the phone at the AIDS Law Project, and she does it in English and Spanish. She previously worked as an administrative assistant at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, where she coordinated details for weddings, meetings and other special events.