Partnership for Children's Rights, Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006
Offering free legal assistance to disadvantaged children
In 1996, after nearly 50 years in the private practice of law, Warren Sinsheimer, 79, retired from a prominent New York City law firm and began volunteering full time as an attorney for a local legal services office, handling special education matters for disabled children. That experience spurred him to create Legal Services for Children, Inc. to provide free civil legal services and related social services to disadvantaged children. Since 1999, Legal Service for Children has represented more than 5,000 children, many of whom now receive special education services and disability benefits. As a result of the organization’s work, many families now receive assistance in finding tutors, classes, therapists, and physicians. From the start, Legal Services for Children operated a volunteer division, training retired and non-practicing attorneys to represent children in need. Those volunteer efforts have doubled the numbers of disadvantaged children the organization can serve. Sinsheimer is now creating a program to bring Legal Services for Children representatives to pediatric and adolescent clinics operating out of New York City hospitals. Outreach and education services will be available onsite for both parents and medical staff and attorneys will there to provide legal advice.