Barbara Buckley: Mentoring Guardianship Lawyers
A conversation with the executive director of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada about their advocacy and defense services in adult guardianship proceedings. The Legal Aid Center’s Guardianship Advocacy Program provides representation to seniors and adults with disabilities who are facing or under guardianship to ensure the adult’s legal rights are protected. In order to provide legal representation to as many adults as possible, the Legal Aid Center developed a training manual that provides advocacy guidelines for pro bono attorneys who take adult guardianship cases through Legal Aid Center’s Pro Bono Project. The manual warns would-be pro bono attorneys: “Accepting this senior or adult with disability as a client means you must advocate for what the client wants – not what any other person or professional, including you, thinks ought to happen or is in the client’s best interests. (Leave that for the other parties, the guardian ad litem, and, ultimately, the judge.) Your job is to promote what your client wants to the guardian and to the court and to work to make that happen, which might require you to confront uncaring guardians or family members and a sometimes inefficient and impersonal legal system.” Coleman and Buckley will discuss what these attorneys do and how their advocacy and defense services have impacted the guardianship system. To watch or listen to this episode or prior episodes, click here.