Section Description Provided by Instructor
Alison Besunder is co-teaching the class.
This externship will focus on 1) lifetime and postmortem estate planning (including the effect of state and common law doctrines such as lapse and ademption, as well as family dynamics), and 2) the administration of estates and trusts (including an overview of the probate process). Students will be expected to research current events relevant to the course and related topics (such as digital assets, constraints on the right to marry, the responses of property and domestic relations law to new reproductive technology) and to discuss these in class.
The fieldwork component will consist of interviewing clients at one or more senior centers or agencies offering elder services in Manhattan and drafting estate planning documents (including Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and Health Care Proxies) for these clients. During the semester, there will be meetings with clients at the relevant locations as well as class and individual meetings at the Law School to discuss the estate planning situations and to review drafts of documents prepared by the students. Work will be done in teams of two and each team will interview at least two clients and will prepare the documents and participate in the execution of the documents.
Students will receive four credits: two academic credits for the seminar and two clinical credits for the fieldwork. The seminar will be graded with letter grades. The fieldwork will be graded Credit/Fail. Grades will be based on written work and class participation. Performance in the fieldwork portion of the course can influence the grade for the seminar.
Preference will be given to students who have had (or are currently taking) a course in Trusts & Estates or who have relevant experience.
Admission is by instructor permission during the Externship application period - see the Social Justice Initiatives page for more information.
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Minor (upon consultation)
LLM Writing Project
(only upon consultation)