Notable Alumni

Those who have worked for Justice in Aging (formerly NSCLC) have made a big mark on the world, both before and after their tenure with us. Many advocate for the rights of low-income seniors and persons with disabilities inside government agencies; others continue to fight for the rights of the marginalized by winning landmark legal cases; some head up legal advocacy organizations with which we partner; and others prepare the next generation of lawyers to fight for Justice in Aging in law schools around the nation. Here’s a sampling of notable alumni who have served on our staff or Board of Directors.


Claire Fagin
Claire served on NSCLC’s board of directors from 2006-2010. She’s a renowned educator, academic, and consultant in the field of geriatric nursing. She has received 15 honorary doctoral degrees as well as the prestigious Honorary Recognition Award of the American Nurses Association. Claire currently holds the title of Leadership Professor Emerita, Dean Emerita at the University of Pennsylvania.


Joseph Grodin
Joseph Grodin was NSCLC Board President (Chair) and served on NSCLC’s Board of Directors from 1994-2006. He served on the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District from 1979-1982, and then on the California Supreme Court until 1987. He’s currently Emeritus Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of Law.



Rebecca Morgan
Rebecca served on NSCLC’s board of directors from 1997-2004 and was president from 2000-2002. Rebecca is currently the Boston Asset Management Faculty Chair in Elder Law, and the director of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law at Stetson University College of Law. She’s co-authored numerous books on the subject of elder law and won multiple awards for her accomplishments in the field.


Nancy Arevalo
Nancy worked as a programs and communications assistant in our Oakland office for four years before going to law school. Nancy is now a third-year law student at UC Hasting College of Law where she is the co-president of the La Raza Law Students Association. She will surely be a future leader in the public interest world.

Nancy Arevalo

Bess Brewer
Bess Brewer was a staff attorney in NSCLC’s LA office in the 1990s. She currently manages a private practice in Sacramento dedicated to litigating Social Security Disability cases at the federal level. She’s also president of the Board of Directors at the Center for Medicare Advocacy.


Alfred Chiplin
Alfred was a staff attorney at NSCLC in both the LA and DC offices, specializing in Medicare and Older Americans Act Programs. He served as Senior Policy Attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy before his death in 2017.


Gene Coffey
Gene, an expert on Medicaid and Long Term Care, served as a staff attorney at NSCLC from 2002-2011before moving to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a Medicaid specialist.

Bob Cohen
Bob was a staff attorney with NSCLC in the mid and late 1970s. Subsequently, he was Executive Director of Orange County Legal Aid before his retirement. Bob has always been an innovative leader in the legal services community, having pioneered the use of technology to provide free legal services to indigent clients and playing a key role in the creation of California’s IOLTA program.


Gill Deford
After working on staff at NSCLC for 18 years, where he was an expert on public pensions, SSI, and health benefits, Gill went on to work for AARP Foundation Litigation as a staff attorney on the Health Law team. He served as Litigation Director at the Center for Medicare Advocacy before his retirement. He’s now of counsel at Center for Medicare Advocacy.


Neal Dudovitz
Neal served as a staff attorney and later Deputy Director for NSCLC. During his 18-year tenure, he argued many important cases. He has served as Executive Director of Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County since 1993.


Burt Fretz
Burt served as Executive Director of National Senior Citizens Law Center in the Washington, DC office from 1981 until his death in 2001. During the 1980s when social services were always at threat of being cut, Burt was instrumental in designing the legislative strategies that kept legal services funded. Early in his career, Burt worked with California Rural Legal Assistance, where he won an important victory before the California Supreme Court. The decision barred non-attorney judges from hearing criminal cases involving jail time—a major victory for his clients since the non-attorney judges routinely ruled against migrant workers. Subsequently, the California legislature revamped the entire justice court system to eliminate non-attorney judges.

Ed King
Ed was Executive Director of NSCLC from 1980 -1981 and then again from 2002-2007 after serving as the first chief justice for the Federated States of Micronesia and Federal Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for Hawaii.

Herb Semmel
Herb worked with NSCLC from 1993 through 2003, and directed the Federal Rights Project, which developed strategies for Medicaid advocates, civil rights groups, and others seeking to enforce federal laws against states and government agencies. Herb is a celebrated civil rights attorney who filed the first case in the nation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He had a productive academic career as an author and served on the faculty of several law schools including UCLA, University of Illinois and University of Texas. Herb died in 2004.

Harper Jean Tobin
Harper Jean worked in NSCLC’s Washington DC office from 2007-2009 before heading to the National Center for Transgender Equality. She’s currently the Director of Policy for the Center and her writing on transgender equality has appeared in numerous academic and general publications.