Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic

Directed by Professor Rima Nathan

The Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic is a holistic, interdisciplinary clinic focused on boosting the wellbeing and resilience of low-income older adults through legal advocacy and community education. Students enrolled in the clinic learn the basics of elder law while also working directly on cases and policy issues. 

Learn about the Claude Pepper Elder Law Moot Court Competition

The clinic covers:

► Elder abuse & neglect
► Financial exploitation
► Advance directives
► Health-care decision making
► Age discrimination
► Public benefits

► Medicare and Medicaid
► Nursing homes and housing
► Caregiver rights and support systems
► The third age
► Resilience and mental health
► Elder populations in prison

Participating law students work directly with clients on cases involving powers of attorney, healthcare surrogates, and living wills. Students also assist clients in any of the main clinic topics through advice workshops hosted throughout the greater Leon County area. Outside of the classroom, students develop outreach programs to educate the elder community on their rights and options as they age. Students also engage in legislative advocacy by working directly with local stakeholders and policy leaders.

Participating students:

 Learn substantive elder law.

 Build skills fundamental to the practice of law.

 Directly represent community members.

 Host community know-your-rights presentations and educational workshops.

 Submit policy comments and legislative proposals.

 Draft, disseminate, and present outreach materials.

 Meet with members of the Florida Legislature, the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, AARP of Florida, local elder law attorneys, and other policy leaders.

 Implement best practices in client-centered, trauma-informed lawyering. 


The clinic is committed to experiential learning: the fusion of theory and practice. Students learn by doing, through weekly dialogue with peers and faculty members about cases, critical observations of the performance of various legal professionals, direct visceral exposure to elder law issues, and in-depth interaction with clients and their communities.

Student Testimonials

  • "The Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic was an opportunity to gain a comprehensive overview of relevant issues and barriers elder populations face in America. In addition to being assigned clients to draft advance directive documents, I also had the incredible opportunity to work on a conditional medical release project. Not only did I help individuals have conversations about end-of-life planning, but I also learned more about trauma informed lawyering and interacting with clients. The Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic provided me the resources and space to interact with elder law attorneys in Tallahassee and representatives in our state government."

    - Katlin Hickman

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  • "The Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic was an amazing experience! Even though I am not a law student, I benefitted a lot from this clinic. I learned so much important information about advance directives and policies that affect elder populations in Florida and across the country. Professor Nathan made sure that everyone gained valuable experiences and connections throughout the semester and I could not be more grateful for everything that we accomplished!"

    - Sara Clark

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  • "The FSU Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic was an incredible experience that provided me holistic insight into the legislative process by working and testifying on a real bill to Florida legislative committees, provided me hands-on experience in drafting estate planning documents, and gave me real world experience learning the skills to building healthy and successful attorney-client relationships."

    - Veronica G. Hernandez


Upcoming Events

  • Presentation at the Tallahassee Senior Center with Assistant United States Attorney and Elder Justice Coordinator Justin Keen | Wednesday, February 28, 2024 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Presentation at the Wakulla Senior Center | March 20, 2024 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Claude Pepper Elder Law Moot Court Competition | November 7-9, 2024

Recent News & Features

  View the Clinic's Photo Gallery  


"Claude Pepper Elder Law classroom photo"


► Avoiding Financial Exploitation
► Decision Making Options for Individuals with Diminished Capacity
► Elder Abuse Awareness and Facts
► Nursing Home Discharge Facts
► Pay & Transfer on Death Accounts
► Summary Probate Administration
► What Documents Do I Need?
► ELC Application for Legal Services
► Leon County Affordable Housing Directory

How to Apply for Enrollment

Law students interested in enrolling in the Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic should complete the PILC application and contact Professor Rima Nathan to schedule an interview. There are no prerequisites for this clinic. The clinic is open to all students beginning the summer after their 1L year.

All Graduate Students Welcome! The Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic is an interdisciplinary project which aims to facilitate problem solving across disciplines. Accordingly, FSU graduate students outside of the law school are encouraged to apply. Graduate students will engage directly in policy advocacy and strategic research to complement the legal services provided by the clinic, both directly and through community initiatives. Students enrolled in graduate programs in criminology, public health, and sociology may find a particular interest in the Elder Law Clinic. Please reach out to Professor Rima Nathan if you are interested.

Student Scholarship

  • Coming soon!

Claude Pepper

About Claude Pepper

Claude Denson Pepper paved the way for elder justice. In 1928, Senator Pepper began his distinguished career of public service in the Florida House of Representatives. In 1936, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served for 14 years. In the Senate, he served on numerous committees and chaired both the Subcommittee on Wartime Health and Education and the Committee on Patents. Among other groundbreaking legislation efforts, Senator Pepper led the passage of an amendment creating state offices to prevent abuse of elderly persons and was an author of sweeping reforms to protect residents of American nursing homes. He held hearings on the need for national guardianship reform and was influential in the passage of Medicare and Medicaid. The Claude Pepper Elder Law Clinic honors Claude Pepper’s legacy by staying committed to serving the needs of our growing elderly population.