The Elder Justice Consortium of Pennsylvania Law Schools (EJC) hosted a lunch and learn on April 9 for law students in honor of National Healthcare Decision Day.  The event was held at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University. This was the first EJC event of its type bringing together law students from across Pennsylvania to discuss the important topics of Healthcare Decisions and Directives, Elder Law, and the EJC.

The event preceded National Healthcare Directive Day, held annually on April 16. The initiative served to educate individuals on the importance of advance planning of healthcare. Duquesne Kline School of Law students attended the event in person and a Zoom option was provided for speakers, attendees, and students from all nine Pennsylvania law schools, with a number of schools hosting “watch parties” with members of the EJC present to facilitate questions and provide opportunities for further conversations. The event covered a brief introduction to the EJC and how students can get involved, the importance of Elder Law as a practice, and the issues that older Pennsylvanian's face. The seminar concluded with an overview of advance care planning as a tool to assist individuals assuring that their wishes are honored. 

EJC member Kate Norton, Co-Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship, Director of Clinical and International Programs, and Assistant Professor of Law at Duquesne Kline School of Law, moderated the event. Other speakers included Duquesne Kline Professor Grace Orsatti, also of the EJC; Mary Catherine Scott of Widener Commonwealth and the EJC; Katherine Pearson of Penn State Dickinson University and the EJC; Brendan Corbalis of the Senior Law Center and Villanova University representative; Spencer Rand from Temple University’s Legal Aid Office; Monica Harmon from Drexel University’s Dornsife Center; and Duquesne Kline law students Eliza Hens-Greco and Nick Piccirillo. 

The event was an effective way to bring students together to discuss elder law and justice and learn from each other. 

“We hope that students gained a real understanding and appreciation of the importance supporting elder justice both in law school and in their future careers. By pairing this event with National Healthcare Decision Day, we hoped that students understood that these issues impact all individuals including those in their lives,” Norton said.

She noted the EJC is planning to host similar events for law students in the future.

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May 14, 2024