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Law Courses Catalog

Elder Law

NOTE: This course description has changed for the 2016-2017 academic year, due to a professor change. Please make sure you read it carefully for changes in how the course will be graded. You may read the prior course description immediately below this new one. 

2016-2017

Description: This course will provide a basic foundation for legal practice with older people and their families at the intersection of law, aging, and health care. Substantive topics to be covered include: -Capacity/Incapacity to Make Health Care and Placement Decisions -Capacity/Incapacity to Make Financial Decisions -Estate Planning and Estate Administration -Taxes: Fiduciary and Estate Taxes -Special Needs Planning for Disabled Persons -Government Benefits Law: Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits, Medicare and Medicaid -Litigation in Elder Law: Will and Trust Contests; Protective Proceedings; and Elder Abuse Prevention -Legal Ethics in Elder Law

Course Objectives: The objective of this course is to expose students to the general areas of law that affect older persons as they age, as they may become physically and mentally incapacitated, and to some of the practice issues involved in providing legal services to older people and their families. Students will come away from this course with awareness of the particular issues involved in providing legal services to older people and their families, and to the roles that other professionals serve in providing services to this population.

Grades: Grades will be based on class participation (10%), Court Observation/job shadow with a Paper (30%) and a final examination (60%). Class participation will consist of willingness to join in class discussions and knowledge of readings when called upon, Court Observation/job shadow will take the place of a couple of in person classes and will require completion of short writing assignment regarding the experience complete with details related to skills observed and a plan to acquire those skills by the student. The final exam will be detailed essay questions.

Course Materials: The course will use Elder Law: Cases and Materials, Fifth Edition (2011), by Lawrence Frolik. There is a 2014 update that may be downloaded for free here.

Instructor: Judge Katherine Tennyson will be teaching the course, occasionally assisted by other local attorneys with specialized expertise. Judge Tennyson’s contact information is: Multnomah County Circuit Court, 1021 SW 4th Ave., Portland, Oregon, 97211. (503-988-3078) (use Lewis & Clark law school email address)

NOTE: This course description is the original one with the prior professor for the 2016-2017 academic year. You may read the prior course description immediately below this new one. 

2016-2017

Description: This course will provide a basic foundation for legal practice with older people and their families at the intersection of law, aging, and health care. Substantive topics to be covered include: -Capacity/Incapacity to Make Health Care and Placement Decisions -Capacity/Incapacity to Make Financial Decisions -Estate Planning and Estate Administration -Taxes: Fiduciary and Estate Taxes -Special Needs Planning for Disabled Persons -Government Benefits Law: Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits, Medicare and Medicaid -Litigation in Elder Law: Will and Trust Contests; Protective Proceedings; and Elder Abuse Prevention -Legal Ethics in Elder Law

Course Objectives: The objective of this course is to expose students to the general areas of law that affect older persons as they age, as they may become physically and mentally incapacitated, and to some of the practice issues involved in providing legal services to older people and their families. Students will come away from this course with awareness of the particular issues involved in providing legal services to older people and their families, and to the roles that other professionals serve in providing services to this population.

Grades: Grades will be based on class participation (20%) and a final examination (80%). Class participation will include 1 or 2 oral presentations to your classmates regarding an important legal case in the area of Elder Law, attendance, participation in class discussions, and completion of short writing assignments (such as drafting of a will, a health care directive, or a letter to a client). The number of oral presentations assigned to each student will depend on the number of students taking the class, and will be assigned at the first class. The final exam will be a combination of short answer questions and more detailed essay questions.

Course Materials: The course will use Elder Law: Cases and Materials, Fifth Edition (2011), by Lawrence Frolik. There is a 2014 update that may be downloaded for free here.

Instructor: Attorney Geoff Bernhardt will be teaching the course, occasionally assisted by other local attorneys with specialized expertise. Geoff Bernhardt’s contact information is: Law Office of Geoff Bernhardt PC 5603 SW Hood Avenue Portland, OR 97219 Email: (use Lewis & Clark law school email address)

NOTE: The below course description applied prior to the 2016-2017 academic year.

  • Typically offered every other year

Description: This course will provide a basic foundation for legal practice with older people and their families at the intersection of law, aging, and health care. Substantive topics to be covered include: -Capacity/Incapacity to Make Health Care and Placement Decisions -Capacity/Incapacity to Make Financial Decisions -Estate Planning and Estate Administration -Taxes: Fiduciary and Estate Taxes -Special Needs Planning for Disabled Persons -Government Benefits Law: Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits, Medicare and Medicaid -Litigation in Elder Law: Will and Trust Contests; Protective Proceedings; and Elder Abuse Prevention -Legal Ethics in Elder Law

Course Objectives: The objective of this course is to expose students to the general areas of law that affect older persons as they age, as they may become physically and mentally incapacitated, and to some of the practice issues involved in providing legal services to older people and their families. Students will come away from this course with awareness of the particular issues involved in providing legal services to older people and their families, and to the roles that other professionals serve in providing services to this population.

Grades: Grades will be based on class participation (30%) and a final examination (70%). Class participation will include 1 or 2 oral presentations to your classmates regarding an important legal case in the area of Elder Law, attendance, participation in class discussions, and completion of short writing assignments (such as drafting of a will, a health care directive, or a letter to a client). The number of oral presentations assigned to each student will depend on the number of students taking the class, and will be assigned at the first class. The final exam will be a combination of short answer questions and more detailed essay questions.

Course Materials: The course will use Elder Law: Cases and Materials, Fifth Edition (2011), by Lawrence Frolik. There is a 2014 update that may be downloaded for free here.

Instructor: Attorney Geoff Bernhardt will be teaching the course, occasionally assisted by other local attorneys with specialized expertise. Geoff Bernhardt’s contact information is: Law Office of Geoff Bernhardt PC 5603 SW Hood Avenue Portland, OR 97219 Email: (use Lewis & Clark law school email address)