THE GUARDIANSHIP PROJECT CLINIC (2 credits in the fall, 2 credits in the spring) (PBL 140/141)
Adjunct Professor Randi Rosenstein
Under the supervision of Professor Rosenstein of the AHRC (a leading advocacy organization in this field), students will be trained and will represent relatives of developmentally disabled or mentally retarded adult dependents to become their legal guardians, an appointment that becomes legally necessary once the DD/MR person turns 18. Many family members are unaware of this until a hospital or doctor informs asks them for proof of guardianship, and then require immediate assistance. Students will represent clients under a practice order in the Surrogate’s Court. The course offers students the opportunity to engage in an intensive, supervised experience in representing a client in a simple, screened (but always surprising) setting, in a situation in which they may be able to complete a simple matter start to finish, under expert supervision. Unlike many representation situations, this is one in which it is a win-win for all involved, who typically share the goal of establishing secure guardianship for someone who needs it. Students will learn an area of law and the skills needed to complete these important cases. The other goal is to enable students to work collaboratively on cases, and experience the need to divide work, to share accountability and responsibility, to self-critique (and be critiqued) and to experience many of the non-doctrinal parts of the practice of law. Students will also evaluate the course in terms of its value educationally and to those the project assists.