Elder Law and Guardianship Field Placement and Seminar
In this course, 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. Professor Strauss 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.
This course is compromised of two co-requisite courses: a two credit seminar and a two credit fieldwork experience. A two hour seminar meets weekly. 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. In addition to meeting with the group and each student with his or her supervising lawyer, the professor is also available to meet with students as needed at the School. Students should expect to spend a minimum of 16 hours per week on work for this course. The seminar is graded and the fieldwork is pass/fail. A paper is required; this requirement may be satisfied by case-related work at the discretion of the professor.
Approved for the Experiential Learning Requirement. Enrollment is limited. Registration is binding. Application is required, and can be found on the Academics section of the NYLS Portal under Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning.
Recommended for the Following Professional Pathways: Family Law; Health Care Management and Compliance; Trusts and Estates
4 Credits Total — 2 Credits for Seminar and 2 Credits for Fieldwork (Spring)