(Note: The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: Bifocal Vol. 35, Issue 6.)
The Commission's robust internship program hosts students year-round in Washington, DC. To learn more, contact David Godfrey, Senior Attorney, at David.Godfrey@americanbar.org.
My summer at the ABA Commission on Law and Aging was invaluable. I had the opportunity to work with elder clients the summer after my first year of law school. Getting that hands-on experience kept things in perspective for me this summer as I worked on issues that affected an aging population on a broader level.
I was able to attend many meetings related to elder law on Capitol Hill which allowed me to gain better insight into the policymaking process. Further, I was really able to make the internship my own and to pursue topics and projects that were interesting to me.
I spent the summer mainly working with senior attorney David Godfrey. Working with him allowed me grasp a better understanding of the complexities of elder law policy. Additionally, I was able to improve my research and writing skills. The knowledge I gained was invaluable. More importantly, however, I leave the Commission more confident in myself. I know that I will carry this confidence with me as I move forth with my legal career. I recommend this experience to everyone.
My summer with the Commission has allowed me to accomplish so many of my goals. As I began the summer, I was immediately exposed to the many facets of Elder Law. Ranging from Elder Abuse roundtable discussions with delegates from Singapore to moderating panel discussions at the 3rd World Congress on Adult Guardianship, I learned more about the Commission’s great work than I ever imagined.
I also had the opportunity to work with Commission Director Charlie Sabatino to conduct research on default surrogacy consent laws in the U.S. This summer project provided invaluable experience as I honed my research and writing skills. Upon completing the statutory research, I was able to share my findings in an article. I also attended hearings, briefings, and forums on Capitol Hill. During these activities I became more knowledgeable about the current issues older Americans face every day.
Overall, I attribute my increased knowledge and interest in this field of law to the success and guidance of the COLA staff. Their commitment and advocacy in their respective areas of Elder Law is inspiring, to say the least. I would recommend this internship to all students who seek to learn from experts who are deeply committed to their work. I am very grateful for this experience. ■