After majoring in psychology and health and human services as an undergraduate at UB, Brad Loliger’s decision to become a social worker was natural. With his mother working as an RN for Hospice Buffalo providing end of life nursing care for most of his life, Brad saw firsthand how rewarding careers in the helping professions really are. “Seeing her do that work,” he reminisces, “made me want to enter the field of social work. I just wanted to help others, and social work offers those opportunities.”
Prepared to carve his own path in the field, Brad decided on the JD/MSW program, citing the unique perspectives and opportunities available via this combination.“Professionals with a dual social work/law degree possess an interesting blend of two very different schools of thought. You can either be an attorney with a social worker mindset, having that person-centered recognition of trauma and human rights,” Loliger emphasizes, “or you can be a social worker with that clout and understanding of legal issues that is so important in terms of the many areas law and social work intersect.”
Loliger’s lucidity and awareness of the intertwining of legal and social concerns were reinforced in his field placements in both degree programs – as a Buffalo Public Interest Law (BPILP) fellow, Loliger interned at Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled, or Disadvantaged of Western New York (LSED) during the summer of 2011 and translated that placement to his second year social work field placement. During this time, Loliger also served as a visitation specialist for Gateway-Longview and was a student leader in the SSW DREAM Program, where he organized bimonthly bingo events and holiday parties for residents at a local assisted living facility. His drive and success in the field and in the classroom earned him an induction into the Rho Kappa chapter of Phi Alpha, the National Social Work Honor Society, in 2012.
Now a passionate and efficacious JD/MSW professional in the field, Loliger continues his service with LSED as a social worker. He plans and coordinates the care of persons and management of property for those who are unable to care for themselves and are absent family in addition to making visits, ensuring clients have access to needed services. “This agency number one always looks out for the client. If they can’t take care of themselves, then someone else has to. If there's no family involved, that’s us. I love being able to meet the people, talk to them, learn their stories and know we’re helping them. At the end of the day, I can say we do right by these people and we do our best to care for them.”