15 credits from the following courses:
The course is a practice-oriented, simulated course that satisfies the substantial skill instruction requirement for graduation. The course initially considers the relevant tax systems, including transfer taxes (gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes) and income taxes (individual income taxes and the income taxation of trusts, decedents’ estates and beneficiaries). Thereafter, students will learn how to draft wills, revocable trusts and advance directives taking into account the relevant non-tax and tax rules. Students will also learn how to effectively communicate with clients. Ethical considerations are emphasized throughout the course. In lieu of a final examination, students will submit a comprehensive project for a hypothetical client. Typically students work as a team of two students (unless a student prefers to work alone).
Focuses on laws of interstate succession; execution, revocation, probate, and construction of wills; non-probate transfers; nature and creation of express, resulting and constructive trusts; powers of appointment; and fiduciary administration.
At least 3 credits from the following courses:
Provides an overview of legal and policy questions relating to aging individuals and an older and aging society.
This course provides an introduction to practical topics in estate and financial planning, including advance directives for financial management and health care decisions, long term care planning, revocable living trusts and retirement plans. In lieu of an examination, Financial Planning for the Elderly involves a project. Students form teams of two and three (though it is permissible to work alone) and prepare a plan for a hypothetical single person, taking into account all relevant gift and income tax and non-tax factors. The project includes draft documents and an explanatory cover letter to the hypothetical client. This course is designed to provide an experience transferable to practice.
Prerequisite: Trusts and Estates
Examines legal issues involved in guardianship for minors and adults unable to make decisions for themselves.
This survey course covers several topics essential to an understanding of the health-care system and the issues confronting health-care lawyers today. The topics are: health-care delivery systems; quality of and access to health care (including medical malpractice, institutional liability, and allocation of health-care resources); health-care professionals' rights and responsibilities (including professional licensure/discipline and institutional peer review); and patients' rights (including informed consent, advance directives, surrogate decision-making, research involving human subjects, determination of death, and anatomical gifts).
The Health Law Clinic is designed to teach student interns to identify and address the legal issues which poor individuals living with chronic health conditions often face. Through faculty supervised representation of clients living with, or affected by, HIV or cancer, participating students acquire a broad range of practical lawyering skills in the areas of client interviewing, factual investigation, case planning, client counseling, and litigation advocacy. Student interns are admitted to practice under the Student Practice Rule which allows them to help clients access necessary health care, obtain public benefits, secure or maintain stable housing, establish court-approved emergency plans for the future care of children, and develop proxies which authorize health care agents to make health decisions. Participating interns typically take from this experience both a heightened confidence in their lawyering abilities and a broader perspective of their role in ensuring access to justice for the needy. Clinic clients typically report that the legal services provided relieve stress and allow them to focus their limited energy on their underlying health problems.
Surveys federal income tax law, especially as it relates to taxation of individuals.
The number of elderly Americans is projected to increase significantly over the next few decades. Life expectancy is still increasing; the economy and job growth are sluggish; millions of Americans lack adequate health insurance; health care costs are rising at a rate far higher than the general inflation rate; and the Administration and state governments are attempting to implement the Affordable Care Act in the face of budgetary constraints and implacable opposition from certain groups.
The course will cover:
1. Federal pension law under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code;
2. Social Security and Medicare coverage and benefits, including policy and financial issues; and
3. The major new rules under the Affordable Care Act relating to access to health care, how health care is provided and financed, patient protections, employer-provided benefits and quality improvement.
Provides exposure to technical skills needed to represent clients successfully in estate matters. Emphasizes procedural aspects of estate work and precise methodology to present the client's case, as petitioner or objectant.
Participation in at least one of the following experiential programs:
- Health Law Clinic
- Field Placement or Semester in Practice related to trusts or estates (approved by Concentration Advisor)
Students are required to complete one significant piece of writing in the concentration area. The writing requirement does not require that students earn any credits beyond the required and credits described above. The topic and the arrangement for fulfilling the writing requirement, however, must be approved in advance by the Concentration Advisor. The paper could be written to fulfill the requirements of a course, an independent study, or a law journal note and comment. It may also be possible to fulfill this requirement by completing a substantial piece of writing in conjunction with an experiential course, clinic, or Field Placement, such as a brief, a series of Motions, or a significant legal memorandum. It could also be fulfilled by writing a paper independently, such as a submission to a writing competition or an article for publication. In all of these arrangements, the prior approval of the Concentration Advisor is required.
(Effective December 18, 2018)