Meet CLASI attorney, Bill Molchen!
Except for a brief stint in the Delaware Attorney General’s Office and the Delaware Department of Insurance, my entire career of over 40 years has been in public interest law.
After obtaining my law degree from Villanova University and passing the Pennsylvania bar, I began working for a legal aid program in Pennsylvania. I volunteered at this program during law school and worked there in the summers. Having gone to college in the late sixties, helping people who could not afford an attorney was the only kind of law I wanted to practice.
Because I lived in Delaware and wanted to work here, I took the bar in 1994. After passing, I was hired by Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI). My supervising attorney became my preceptor and I endured my clerkship. Since I was on law review and enjoyed writing and researching, when a position opened in the AG’s office in criminal appeals, which was headed at the time by a law school classmate, I left CLASI. After about 6 years, I wanted to return to serving the disenfranchised and disempowered and was hired by Legal Services Corporation of Delaware, Inc. in 2001. In 2017, I rejoined CLASI.
I have had the pleasure of helping a lot of people with serious problems. I was co-counsel in a couple of federal class action lawsuits challenging the leases in public housing and Section 8 housing, respectively. These cases were resolved favorably for our clients. One of the cases in which I made a difference recently was helping a young girl who had spastic cerebral palsy and was non-verbal to obtain an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device so she could communicate with the outside world. Her parents applied three (3) times and were turned down by the Managed Care Organization (MCO) each time. After the third denial, we got involved and appealed the denial. We were successful at the fair hearing in having the denial reversed and our client received and is using the new device with eye gaze. Her happiness at the result was gratifying and fueled my passion to continue this work. I wished CLASI and organizations like us had more funding so we could help more people.
Interesting facts about me. I really love to bake bread and around Christmas, I make popovers the size of softballs. It is amazing how big they can get when only flour, milk, and salt are used with extremely high heat. I also love Acadia National Park in Maine and my daughter and I hiked the Precipice, the most difficult but exhilarating trail in the park. There are iron rungs, ladders, handrails, and wooden bridges which make the ascent interesting and gratifying.