Access to Justice Clinical Seminar: Benefits Advocacy and Estate Planning for Persons with Disabilities, Veterans, and Families

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Spring 2013 Seminar
Meets: W 5:00pm - 7:00pm in Areeda Hall Room 120
2 classroom credits

Co-requisite Clinic: Disability, Veterans, and Estate Planning Clinic (2-4 Spring credits). Class and clinic enrollment is bundled. Enrollment in one component (e.g. class) will automatically enroll you in the other component (e.g. clinic).
Early Add/Drop Deadline: January 18, 2013.
LLM Students: This clinic is open to LLM students through an application process.

This seminar is the companion course for students enrolled in the Disability, Veterans, and Estate Planning Clinic of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center. Students enrolled in the Clinic work in one of three clinical placements: Disability Law, Veterans and Public Benefits Law, or Estate Planning Law. Students in these clinical placements represent indigent clients in a variety of subject areas, all with a focus on enhancing financial stability, fostering asset accumulation, and improving access to healthcare.

Because students will have substantial client interaction and will assume significant responsibility for client advocacy in their clinical placement, the seminar seeks to give students a practical toolkit for representing clients. Using a mix of lectures, discussions, and skills exercises, the seminar will address, among other things, how to: interview clients, conduct factual investigations, develop a theory of the case, draft pleadings, motions, briefs, and other legal documents, represent clients in administrative appeal hearings and in court, examine witnesses, present oral argument, engage in negotiation, counsel clients, and solve ethical dilemmas. These skills-based topics will be presented within the context of the substantive laws relevant to the Clinic's areas of practice. The seminar will also provide students an opportunity to consider larger questions about the structure of the safety net, the adequacy of estate planning laws, and access to justice for low-wealth clients and communities.

There is no final examination or final paper for this course.

A Spring clinical practice component—WilmerHale Legal Services Center- Disability, Veterans, and Estate Planning Clinic—is required of all students. Clinical placements are in Disability Law (6 students), Veterans and Public Benefits Law (6 students), or Estate Planning Law (6 students).

Subject Areas: Health Law , Procedure & Practice , Regulatory Law .