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Elder Law Clinic to resume operations in September in the Worrell Professional Center

After a temporary hiatus, the Wake Forest University School of Law’s Elder Law Clinic will resume operations in September in a new location in the Worrell Professional Center, on the university’s  Reynolda Campus.

With this summer’s WFU School of Business move to the newly opened Farrell Hall, Wake Forest Law now has room to house the Elder Law Clinic, which was formerly located at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Sticht Center. Applications and appointments for the clinic’s free services can be obtained by calling (336) 758-5061 or visiting the website.

In this program, upper-level law students provide free legal assistance to eligible clients age 60 or older.  They prepare wills and powers of attorney, advise about legal rights of debtors, answer questions about how to pay for long-term care and assisted living, and represent people in guardianship cases and other litigation.  The Elder Law Clinic does not handle criminal, traffic, or business law cases.  Clinic students are supervised by Clinical Professor Kate Mewhinney, who is board-certified as an elder law specialist by the N.C. State Bar as well as the National Elder Law Foundation.

The clinic will also continue working with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center despite the move, according to Mewhinney.

“We are committed to continuing our collaborative service and teaching after the program relocates,” Mewhinney said. “The law school is pleased that the medical school faculty will continue to help to teach the law students.  Older adults facing health issues have been well-served by our multidisciplinary approach.”

In a statement regarding the move, Dr. Jeff Williamson, medical director of the Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest Baptist Health, said, “The Elder Law Clinic has been, and will remain, a valuable partner in our service to older patients and our teaching mission. While their program will be relocated, due to the opening of the new Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in the Sticht Center, we plan on continuing and strengthening our collaborative work and teaching.  This unique partnership between the medical and legal professions has proven to be of benefit to our patients and our medical staff.  We are committed to keeping it a vital part of the community.”

Mewhinney will continue her participation in teaching medical learners about legal issues of older patients, and as part of the medical center’s Ethics Committee. Medical-legal partnerships like this have been endorsed by both the ABA and the AMA in recent years.  Wake Forest’s Elder Law Clinic is a member of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.