This interview was originally featured in Tech For Equity Updates—a biweekly newsletter about Change Machine’s platform, including upcoming trainings, and insights from our community of practice. Subscribe today!
Meet Claire Mooney with the Consumer Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society! The Consumer Law Unit assists people facing financial insecurity in New York City with consumer debt cases, while also using outreach and advocacy strategies to prevent consumer debt in the future. In Claire’s role as the Domestic Violence Consumer Staff Attorney, she litigates and advocates for survivors of intimate partner violence and other trauma in consumer legal matters.
What role does SHARE play in your work at Legal Aid?
SHARE is a helpful way to check my assumptions and increase my understanding of the ways in which non-lawyer folks experience the systems I interact with as a lawyer. I’m able to get recommendations from other practitioners on how to advise clients in a way that will actually work, regardless of someone’s legal experience or legal education.
How does financial coaching impact your work and mission?
As a lawyer, I experience law in a way that doesn’t reach other people’s realities due to my legal education and the nature of the legal system. Clients experience me as an attorney, but experience a financial coach as an ally in the process. Change Machine’s community of financial coaches is a resource for clients, involving less fear and more self-advocacy.
What resources on Change Machine’s platform do you find most helpful?
I attended a community training session around reviewing credit reports, which I found very helpful. I liked that it provided non-legal language that I could use to better communicate with my clients. I’ve also found the tipsheets to be very helpful as they provide clients with something that is both accessible and tangible that they can reference.
Join Claire and other practitioners on SHARE, free through June 30th.