Brendan Wood, a 2019 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law, has been awarded a post-graduate legal fellowship from Equal Justice Works that will allow him to offer legal assistance to West Virginians recovering from addiction as they work towards greater socioeconomic stability.
Starting in September, he will create a referral network for education, counseling, group therapy and self-help materials that address the underlying issues associated with substance use disorder.
Wood will also use the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws to advocate for his clients to give them improved access to employment, housing and educational opportunities.
“The nature of substance use disorder deprives many victims of access to resources and employment necessary for recovery, including legal counsel to protect their rights under the ADA and other legislation,” he said.
Wood will be working closely with Legal Aid of West Virginia in Charleston. They plan to make the fellowship project a blueprint to help communities across the United States address substance use disorder.
He was one of just 76 law school graduates selected from more than 450 applicants nationally. Based in Washington, D.C., Equal Justice Works selects fellows who have designed their own two-year projects to make a lasting positive impact on communities.
Wood’s project is sponsored by the Equal Justice Works Text-to-Give campaign.