April 01, 2017

Inside The Commission

Commission on Law and Aging Spring 2017 Interns

Student interns and externs expand the work we can accomplish and helps us develop the next generation of advocates in law and aging. Students are assigned work based on needs and priority of COLA staff – the attorney assigning the work oversees the work.
For the Spring semester of 2017 we had two students:

Courtney Arnold is a rising third-year student in the JD/MPP program at American University in Washington, D.C. Ms. Arnold is a 2012 graduate of Furman University, with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. In the summer of 2015, she worked at AARP-Legal Counsel for the Elderly’s Homebound Elderly Law Project. There she did research on elder abuse and probate matters, in addition to assisting with estate planning for homebound seniors. Ms. Arnold is Co-Chair of the Washington College of Law National Lawyers Guild and Secretary of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Black Law Students Association. She also serves as a Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project Teaching Fellow, teaching a constitutional law and youth justice class to high school students. During her internship at the Commission, Ms. Arnold worked under the supervision of Erica Wood while conducting a nation-wide assessment of guardianship complaint processes.

Kimberly Smith is a legal extern from Georgetown University Law Center, where she is pursuing her LL.M. in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning. She received her J.D. in May 2016 from Suffolk University Law School and has been sworn into the Massachusetts and New York state bars. Kimberly is originally from New York and received her B.A. in Political Science at the State University of New York at Albany. Her work at a law firm in Boston working on estate planning and conservatorship/guardianship matters inspired her to continue her legal education this year. In her free time, Kimberly likes to explore all that D.C. has to offer and will be running her 11th half marathon at the end of the month. Two projects she worked on with the Commission included a proposal for the ABA Board of Delegates recommending Social Security caregiver credits for caregivers of elderly family members and researching legal and medical journal articles for how doctors approach end of life care for incapacitated adults without any type of medical directives. Kimberly worked under the supervision of Charlie Sabatino.

National Healthcare Decisions Day 10 Year Celebration

This year is the tenth anniversary of National Healthcare Decisions Day, an event co-sponsored by the ABA (through the Commission on Law and Aging) and several other national groups, with administrative back-up from The Conversation Project.  It is officially designated as April 16 of each year, although events around the country are held anytime on and around that date.  This year, the NHDD steering committee is planning a Hill briefing on advance care planning that will be held on May 3.  Speakers will include representatives from our Commission on Law and Aging, The Conversation Project, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the Catholic Health Association.  Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) have also agreed to speak.  They are the primary co-sponsors of the Care Planning Act, a bi-partisan bill strengthening advance care planning opportunities for Medicare beneficiaries that will be reintroduced in this Congress. For more information about this event see page 71 in the most recent issue of Bifocal magazine.