On Tuesday, April 18th, Family Center Attorney Lauren Groetch was recognized by New York Nonprofit Media (NYN Media) for the outstanding legal counsel and representation that she provides to NYC residents through our Legal Wellness Institute. NYN Media inducted Lauren into their 2017 Front Line Heroes class, and The Family Center could not be prouder of Lauren and this acknowledgement of her dedication, commitment and hard work! As part of the awards ceremony, NYN Media produces a program with honorees’ bios and answers to questions that reveal their value to NYC residents and communities. Below is the program excerpt that featured Lauren.
Lauren Groetch is a staff attorney for the Legal Wellness Institute at The Family Center, where she represents vulnerable New Yorkers on matters related to family and matrimonial law, trusts and estates, benefits and housing law. Groetch is a graduate of the New York University School of Law, where she was named a Hermann Biggs Health Policy Scholar and served as the executive editor for the New York University Review of Law and social Change. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.
What or who most inspired you to do the work you’re doing now?
LG: My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by powerful women who draw strength from doing work that they find meaningful and fulfilling. I’ve been lucky enough never to have been disabused of the idea that I should, and could, do the same.
What is the most challenging thing you’ve had to do in your job -or for a client?
LG: The wheels of justice turn slowly, and the wheels of bureaucracy even slower. For my clients with life-limiting illnesses, time is always of the essence. I work hard to get my clients what they need as quickly as possible, often with success. But my clients face so many mountains and I can’t move them all. It’s challenging to advocate for very sick clients within institutions that aren’t designed -and often aren’t able- to provide quick relief.
What career accomplishment has brought you the most joy so far?
LG: When I meet clients, they’re staring down frightening diagnoses, devastating loss and profound uncertainty.
I’m here to resolve legal problems, but my job is also to protect my clients’ dignity; to help them feel heard and respected; and to remind them of their own power in circumstances that would make anyone feel helpless.
When a client comes to me feeling ineffective and forgotten, and leaves feeling strong and important, that’s a huge accomplishment for me.