Learning the Realities of the Law

 

Elder Law Clinic Spring 2016

Spring 2016 Elder Law Clinic
(B): Brandy Davis, Alec Roberson, Marcus Fields, Tim Lewis, Emily Morris
(F): Jenna Coogle, Rebecca Daddino, Sharon Ukodie

 

Talking to people face to face about new legal concepts can be scary.  You have to make the other person comfortable, hear out their concerns and slowly introduce some complicated information.  Our clinic students took on this challenge and are better prepared to become lawyers.

“My confidence in my ability to be a professional has grown tremendously,” wrote clinic student Sharon Ukodie.  But this learning is tempered by some down-to-earth realities.

As student Marcus Fields observed, “You have to work with the client you have.  You can’t always persuade them to take your advice.”

Rebecca Daddino found it sobering to have a client with no close friends or family to make decisions if she became ill.  Tapping community resources proved helpful.

The students’ expectations of older clients also evolved.  When he met with a frail nursing home resident, Alec Roberson was struck by how sharp she was.  Despite her weak appearance and difficulty communicating, Alec patiently interviewed her and learned that, “She knew her pension down to the penny!”

Tim Lewis experienced the value of persistence.  His client was having taxes garnished from her already low Social Security check.   Tim went through many channels to figure out a way to wipe the tax slate clean.

Every client gives our students an opportunity to learn.  Every complicated family situation and complex law engages and educates them.  The Elder Law Clinic is proud of 25 years of providing older adults with capable and compassionate lawyers.

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Kaamran Hafeez/The New Yorker Collection/The Cartoon Bank