Since 2012, the Clinic has assisted clients in creating financial and legal plans, ranging from traditional estate planning documents (i.e., wills, powers attorney, advance medical directives, living wills) to guardianship & conservatorship actions, as well as planning for Medicare & Medicaid and Social Security. The Clinic Students serve the community as they gain hands-on experience by drafting the legal documents to carry out those plans and by conducting legal research on novel issues that may affect those plans. The Clinic also advocates on behalf of clients who are unable to speak for themselves and educates seniors, as well as their families and caregivers, on critical issues in the fields of Elder Law and Disability Law, including (and not limited to) probate administration, competency determinations, nursing home concerns, and elder abuse.
As the Clinic enters its second decade of providing free legal assistance for qualifying seniors and disabled individuals, the Clinic continues to serve the Hampton Road community but has stepped up to assist the growing need for legal support and advocacy throughout the Commonwealth. This year, the Clinic has expanded its breadth and assisted clients in every region of Virginia thanks to the transition to online application forms on the Clinic’s website. While demand for the Clinic’s services is increasing, the Clinic Students have stepped up to the challenge. This year, our hardworking Clinic Students are handling a 33% increase in active cases. Meanwhile, they continue to contribute to the Clinic’s Blog, writing about novel issues in the field of elder law as the digital and technological landscape changes at an unprecedented pace. Check out “Electronic Wills: The Good, The Bad, The Unknown” by Kate Dopkin (Spring 2022) and “Remote Witnessing in the Digital Age” by Robert Robbins (Fall 2021), which consider executing and witnessing wills via a virtual format as opposed to in writing or in person, respectively.
Today, the waitlist of clients is growing faster than ever before! While we are proud of our hardworking Clinic Students for stepping up and dedicating their service, you too can help the Clinic do more to meet this growing need for free legal assistance by donating to the Elder & Disability Law Clinic.