Elder Law Clinic Seminar and Workshop
Students work on actual cases involving guardianship proceedings. After the guardianship proceeding is initiated, the court must appoint a “court evaluator” to investigate the case. The evaluator recommends in writing an appropriate disposition. Under certain circumstances the court may appoint an attorney to represent the “alleged incapacitated person” (AIP). Students in the Clinic may assist in carrying out the responsibilities of the court evaluator or the court appointed attorney. Each student works under the direct supervision of an experienced practicing attorney serving as evaluator or the AIP’s attorney. Professors Strauss and Grosberg will recruit, consult, and closely monitor the work of these attorneys and of each student. Student tasks are likely to include assisting in interviewing the petitioner, the AIP, and witnesses; drafting court papers; researching and preparing memos; counseling the AIP (when the appointed lawyer is serving as counsel to the AIP); appearing in court; interviewing and coordinating the work of any medical or social services providers involved in the case; and preparing the court evaluator’s report.
Students study the applicable substantive, procedural, and ethical rules governing guardianship proceedings, and are assigned readings and simulation exercises relevant to the interviewing, investigating, and counseling tasks that arise in these kinds of cases. Professors Strauss and Grosberg conduct the seminars. A two-hour seminar meets weekly. In addition to meeting with the group and each student with his or her supervising lawyer, the professors are also available to meet with students as needed at the law school. Students should expect to spend from 12-15 hours per week on Clinic work. There are no prerequisites. 2 seminar credits are graded and 2 field credits receive a pass/fail grade. A paper is required; this requirement may be satisfied by case-related work at the discretion of the professors.