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Efforts of LRW Instructor Barbara Hoffman Behind New Web-Based Legal Services Directory for People With Cancer

April 02, 2012 – 

As founding chair of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), Barbara Hoffman has worked for more than 25 years to assure that cancer survivors and the people who care for them have the best possible tools for meeting the many challenges of their illness, including non-medical issues. To that end, Hoffman, a member of the Legal Research and Writing faculty at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, has helped to establish www.nclsn.org, the first web-based directory of free legal assistance programs for people affected by cancer.

The website was created by the National Cancer Legal Services Network (NCLSN), a coalition of attorneys, legal services programs, cancer support organizations, and health care providers led by the LegalHealth division of the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG). Hoffman has worked for several years with attorneys at NYLAG to help coordinate medical-legal partnerships for cancer survivors.

The new NCLSN website features a detailed national directory of legal services organizations that serve individuals with cancer, searchable by service type, as well as location, through an interactive map. It also includes training materials and resources for those attempting to start new cancer legal advocacy programs.

Hoffman believes that NCLSN.org will become a major resource for the more than 1.5 million Americans diagnosed with cancer every year. “For the first time,” she said, “they will have access to a national database of legal services to help address the insurance, employment, financial, and other non-medical issues common to most survivors and their families.” 

Barbara Hoffman is the editor of three editions of A Cancer Survivor’s Almanac: Charting Your Journey, and the author of book chapters, articles, and web content on the legal rights of people with disabilities and on cancer survivorship. An advocate since the 1980s for cancer survivors and individuals with disabilities, she has served as a consultant to the National Cancer Institute as well as to comprehensive cancer centers and nonprofit organizations. She is the recipient of the NCCS President’s Award and the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ Annual Achievement Award.

Ms. Hoffman earned an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Villanova University.