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. 


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

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Law Students  

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.

 


“I am immensely excited to join FSU’s new Elder Law Clinic during my last semester of law school. Coming into law school, I hoped I would be able to explore and make a real impact in an area of law that I am truly passionate about. I am thrilled that the Elder Law Clinic will allow me to work directly with older adults in need, engage in community outreach events, and understand policy issues to make a real impact in the community. I look forward to learning more about elder law and developing crucial legal skills under the guidance of Professor Nathan.”
-Priya Geer, 3L


Upcoming Events

Community Outreach Event | Monday, February 6, 9 AM - 12 PM, Wakulla County Senior Center
Community Outreach Event | Wednesday, March 8, 2-3 PM, Tallahassee Senior Center


Recent News & Features


Interdisciplinary Work

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!

Law Students – How to Apply for Enrollment

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, and CLI status is not required. The clinic is open to all students beginning the summer after their 1L year. 


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.