Elder Law Cinic - 3L Students Needed

The Elder Law Clinic has space for  few more 3Ls to represent clients in Simple Estate Planning, guardianship and government benefits cases.  Over the course of the semester, a clinic student can expect to draft multiple simple Wills and Powers of attorneys for clients, Wills with testamentary supplemental needs trusts for disabled beneficiaries, represent a client in Orphans’ Court in a guardianship matter (and depose a doctor) , counsel clients on eligibility for government benefits and make community presentations.    Students routinely deal with clients with diminished capacity, allowing them to analyze, understand and apply the different standards for capacity and apply the rules of professional conduct addressing representation of such clients. Students gain a ton of experience interacting with clients and each student can expect to appear in Orphans’ Court at least once.  Last semester, students assisted over 60 individuals.
The work is also extremely gratifying.  As an example, students worked with the Veterans Administration to have a guardian appointed for a mentally  incapacitated veteran who was alone in the world.  No friends and no known family to make personal medical decisions and to handle his finances.  Students appeared in the Orphans’ Court and were successful in having an agency appointed as his guardian.  Even better, during the course of preparing the case, the students located two adult children of the veteran who had lost contact with their father decades ago, as he suffered from mental illness and became homeless.  Both children expressed interest in re-connecting with their father and in working with the guardian to make decisions for him.
The simple Wills created by the clinic add to neighborhood stability by creating clear directions for the disposition of real estate, that might otherwise end up with a clouded title due to intestacy with multiple heirs.  The Wills with testamentary trusts provide peace of mind to parents of disabled children that their children will not be disqualified from critical government benefits if they receive an inheritance from their parents.
The clinic is a one semester 7 credit experience.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact Prof. Martha Mannix directly.