Today, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Ranking Member Mike Braun and Chairman Bob Casey introduced their bipartisan Guardianship Grant Flexibility Act to allow Administration for Community Living (ACL) grants to be used for programs that train and recruit law students to help with the guardianship system.
“Many law student are eager to support vulnerable people in the guardianship system, which is facing attorney shortages. This legislation would allow law students to step in and help people in the guardianships while increasing awareness of guardianship proceedings.” —Ranking Member Braun
“Older adults and people with disabilities fighting against exploitative or abusive guardianships are being stymied by unnecessary barriers to accessing legal representation. This legislation would help prepare new lawyers to assist people who need legal services related to guardianships and similar arrangements, building out the legal system in place to fight abuse or fraud.”—Chairman Casey
The Guardianship Grant Flexibility Act would:
- Amend the Elder Justice Act to make ACL’s Elder Justice Innovation Grants for Improving Guardianship more flexible by allowing grants to be used for programs that train and recruit law students to help with the guardianship system.
- State courts could recruit and train law students to provide representation for respondents and to serve as guardians ad litem.
- Eligible programs would work through clinics supervised by a licensed attorney.
Bill text here.