|Roy Lantigua (center) with court-appointed guardian, Kathryn O. Greenberg '82 (left) and his mother. "Kathy is like another mom," says Lantigua. Greenberg identified gaps in the guardian system and helped establish the clinic.|
The Guardianship Clinic is an in-house clinic in which students work approximately 15 to 20 hours weekly on cases representing individuals seeking or opposing guardianships and providing legal representation to guardians seeking to navigate the problems of assisting their wards. Students also represent clients in related elder law and special needs matters as a way of promoting alternatives to guardianship. In addition to individual representation, the clinic has a “law reform” agenda, and seeks through litigation and other advocacy to expand alternatives, improve access, and tighten guardian accountability. Students in the clinic have an opportunity to interview clients and witnesses, do fact investigations and legal research, draft documents, appear in court proceedings, and work on policy reform projects.
The seminar accompanying the clinic meets weekly throughout the semester and provides an intensive introduction to guardianship law and the legal problems faced by older and disabled clients. The seminar also covers interviewing, client counseling, fact development, courtroom skills, and strategies for law reform.