In the 2019–2020 academic year, the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School launched The Adrienne C. Drell and Franklin W. Nitikman Elder Law Project to explore aging and the law through multiple prongs — academic, experiential and theoretical. Since its inception, the project has expanded its academic offerings, addressed some of the most pressing issues of our time through research and advocacy, and built a coalition of students, lawyers, policymakers, providers, and scholars dedicated to elder justice and policy innovation. This unprecedented project is inspired and supported by Adrienne Drell ’92 M.S.L. and Franklin Nitikman ’66 LL.B.
Aging and the Law Seminar
During the Spring 2020 semester, the Solomon Center offered a pathbreaking seminar on “Aging and the Law,” marking the first time in years that such a course has been taught at the Law School. The course was co-taught by Visiting Professor of Law and Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law Nina Kohn, a leading elder law expert from Syracuse University College of Law, and Kevin Cremin ’00, Director of Litigation for Disability and Aging Rights at Mobilization for Justice. It included an innovative experiential component in which students worked on a variety of real-world projects ranging from a project for the Center for Medicare Advocacy on home health care to an AARP project focusing on health disparities in later life. Students tackled the issues of age discrimination; Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; institutionalization and the civil rights of nursing home and assisted living residents; end-of-life care and the right to die; advance planning and guardianship; caregiving and intra-family obligations; and elder abuse, fraud and neglect, while engaging in real-world policy projects.
Workshop on COVID-19, Ageism, and Care for Aging Populations
In the fall of 2020, Faculty Director Abbe Gluck co-taught an interdisciplinary virtual workshop and seminar with Professor Ian Ayres, which featured leading scholars, industry leaders, scientists, advocates, and government experts to discuss the pandemic's intersections with, and disruptions to, many areas of law—including elder law. A week was devoted to “Aging and Care for Aging Populations” in light of COVID-19. It featured Alison E. Hirschel, Director of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative and our Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law, Professor Nina Kohn, as speakers. They provided a robust discussion on issues involving nursing homes and the elderly during the pandemic and provided a framework for thinking about policy solutions moving forward.
Alison E. Hirschel ’84, Director of the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative and Public Interest/Public Service Faculty Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, discussed the regulation of nursing homes and the challenges of and problems with nursing homes’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nina Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education at Syracuse University College of Law and Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law at the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School, presented on how we should move forward with nursing home reform and regulation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rountable Discussion on Long-Term Care Post COVID-19: Extinction, Transformation, or Business as Usual?
In Spring 2021, the Solomon Center held a roundtable discussion exploring the future of long-term care. Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law, Professor Nina Kohn, worked with a Student Fellow to organize the event and invite experts in the field to participate in the discussion. This event focused on the pertinent topic of the fate of long-term care in a post-pandemic world. It featured Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association (NPA); David C. Grabowski, Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL); and Lori Smetanka, Executive Director of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. Professor Kohn led and moderated the event.
Law and the 100-Year Life: A Groundbreaking New Book on Law and the Aging American
The Solomon Center has launched a major book project, Law and the 100-Year Life. Co-edited by Faculty Director Gluck and Yale Law School Professor Anne Alstott '87, this volume aims to reconceive the entire U.S. legal and regulatory system—from education to housing to reproduction and parental rights—in light of the 100-year-old American. The book will shape legal and policy debates around how the United States should adapt to a growing population of Americans who live longer, with a higher quality of life, than at any time in history. The book includes chapters from leading legal minds across many disciplines—rather than aging experts per se—including Kate Andrias ’04, Eleanor Brown ‘99, Cynthia Estlund ’83, Jamal Greene ’05, Sara Greene ’05, Daniel Hemel ’12, John Morley ’06, Ganesh Sitaraman, Lior Strahilevitz ’99, Kenji Yoshino ’96, and Taisu Zhang ’08.