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Annual event helps seniors understand the law

Seniors can take part in a pro bono law clinic and learn about laws affecting the older population at Albany Law's annual Law Day.

Seniors can take part in a pro bono law clinic and learn about laws affecting the older population at Albany Law's annual Law Day.

In all, there will be 30 seminars, staffed by a mix of lawyers and other experts. Law school students don’t take part in the seminar, but they will be on hand for the free legal clinic, at which local attorneys donate their time.

“It helps students appreciate the practical reality of what they’re learning in class,” Bailly said. “We get a lot of students who want to volunteer.”

Six attorneys will man the clinic each hour. Bailly said concerns seniors have brought to the clinic in the past include how much it would cost to draft a will, questions about Medicare and Medicaid and how to deal with distributing their assets when they are on a second marriage and have children from the first marriage.

“It’s an opportunity to come in and assess the landscape of what their problem entails,” Bailly said.

Sometimes, the attorneys can point seniors to non-legal remedies, she said. Other times, they will advise seniors to hire an attorney. That’s because, Bailly stressed, the clinic is just a consultation.

When the Law Day was launched, the school wanted to provide seniors with “solid legal advice with no pressure,” Bailly said. Based on the feedback Albany Law has gotten over the years, that goal has been met.

“We have received nothing but praise,” Bailly said.

The event, organized by the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, is free and open to the public. Advance registration is not required. For more information, contact 518-445-3368.

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