Sunday, May 25, 2014
Nina Kohn (Syracuse University College of Law) and Edward Spurgeon (University of Utah; University of Georgia Law School) recently published an article entitled, A Call to Action on Elder Law Education: An Assessment and Recommendations Based on a National Survey, Elder Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2 (May 1, 2014). The abstract from SSRN is provided below:
The explosive growth of the field of elder law raises questions about how best to prepare lawyers for elder law practice, and how to ensure that those currently in the area have the training they need to serve their clients. We therefore surveyed approximately three hundred elder law practitioners and professors with the aim of better describing the field of elder law and identifying needs related to elder law education and training. Our findings paint a positive view of the field’s prospects. They indicate that elder law is not only a growing specialty with significant opportunities for future growth, but that elder law practice is highly satisfying, especially for attorneys who appreciate a high level of interpersonal interaction. Our findings further indicate that there is a distinct body of elder law, that elder law attorneys need particular skills, and that education and training about this body of law and focused on these skills are of value both during and after law school. Based on these findings, we make a series of concrete recommendations for the legal academy and others interested in improving elder law education. Finally, we explore how these recommendations are consistent with broader calls for reform in legal education.