Amanda O’Keefe, a second-year student at the School of Law–Camden, with her sister, Paige.


Amanda O'Keefe with her sister, Paige.

Kate McCarthy

One segment of the population that receives little information about services that could help them are families that have a member with a disability. Paige O’Keefe is one such person, and that is why her older sister, Amanda O’Keefe CCAS’13, a second-year student at the School of Law–Camden, has decided to earn a law degree. But O’Keefe isn’t waiting until graduation day to make a difference. She recently started a pro bono project that shares information about available services for such families in the Camden area.

Entitled “Learn, Empower, and Advocate for the Developmentally Disabled” (LEAD), the pro bono project hosts free public information sessions on topics ranging from early intervention to Supplemental Security Income. O’Keefe’s own family could have benefited from the service, instead of discovering, largely by chance, that the N.J. Division of Developmental Disabilities, for example, provides respite family support services to eligible individuals.

O’Keefe got help from Jill Friedman, an adjunct professor and associate dean of the Pro Bono and Public Interest Program at the law school, who pointed out that O’Keefe was the key in the project’s becoming part of the roster of Rutgers–Camden pro bono projects. O’Keefe also benefited from the mentoring of Herb Hinkle CCAS’74, a distinguished disability rights attorney who also serves as an adjunct professor at the law school.