The Empowered Paralegal: Working with the Elder Client

The Empowered Paralegal: Working with the Elder Client

Now available in paperback: $38.00 ISBN: 978-1-59460-795-0 • LCCN 2010025542

Elder law is a dual-natured creature and in many ways is quite unlike any other area of law. Substantively the law is law – statutes, cases, rules, and regulations – all of which must be researched, analyzed, understood and applied. Unlike any other type of law, however, elder law is not about something a client is going through, such as a divorce, bankruptcy, a real estate transaction, or even a criminal charge. Elder law is about whom and what the client is – an elderly person. The Empowered Paralegal: Working with the Elder Client enhances understanding of elder law clients, the laws applicable to them, and the issues they face.

The Empowered Paralegal: Working with the Elder Client examines the many influences on elder clients and their families, the deeply personal perspectives which result from those influences, and how they affect the decisions elder law clients make. It focuses on awareness and understanding of the elder client, explaining in clear language the dual nature of the elder client, the physical and psychological changes that occur as we age, and the practicalities of accommodating these changes when working with elderly clients. It also examines:
• Issues surrounding competency, as well as the need for and methods of documenting competency in the file.
• Dealing with the client’s family, including conflicts of interests, confidentiality and undue influence.
• Perspectives, many culturally or religiously based, on aging, death, and dying.
• Intestacy, estate planning basics, and the use of basic estate planning tools to meet client goals.
• Advanced directives and other means of planning for end-of-life decisions.
• Social Security, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid and other public benefit programs and laws directly affecting the elderly.
• Elder abuse and the conflicts that may arise between the attorney/client privilege and mandatory reporting statues.
• Ethical dilemmas faced by the professionals who work with the elderly.

Excerpts from reviews of The Empowered Paralegal: Working with the Elder Client:

The Estrin Report:

I don’t know what it was that I expected when I picked up a copy of Robert Mongue’s latest book, “The Empowered Paralegal: Working with the Elder Client” but that wasn’t as important as the fact that I just couldn’t put it down.This is a book for everyone. While it is written specifically for paralegals, just substitute any position and you have a book that teaches you how to deal, motivate and learn from the older generations.   This publication is not only for paralegals, it can be read by lawyers, administrators, legal secretaries – practically anyone who works in any capacity in a law firm environment.  Why?  Because for the first time that I can remember, someone is teaching how to handle the characteristics, traits, mental capacity and appropriateness of actions to age of clients and colleagues.

Mongue’s book does not cover the ho and the hum of regular “how-to” paralegal books.  In fact, what he covers should be taught in every school regardless of specialty, profession or even age….

The rich voice and highly expressive tone of the book plus the sharing of some of Mongue’s personal stories makes this book a great learning tool for paralegals of any level and any specialty.  I highly recommend it to experienced paralegals, students, attorneys, legal assistants and anyone, anywhere who simply wants to be able to get their message across to those who have crossed over into eligibility for the early blue plate special at Tony’s Trattoria down the street.*

*Chere Estrin is also Editor-in-Chief of KNOW, The Magazine for Paralegals and SUE, For Women in Litigation; and Chairperson of the Board, The Organization of Legal Professionals (OLP). I am on the OLP Advisory Council.


The Empowered Paralegal: Working With the Elder Client by Robert Mongue is an insightful guide that any legal professional who works with an older population will find extremely useful. The book addresses practical concerns such as accommodating elderly clients, evaluating
competency, and understanding estate tools. Sensitive issues such as end-of-life planning, differing cultural perspectives on aging, and
elder abuse are covered as well. Mongue brings his extensive expertise both as a practicing lawyer and a paralegal instructor to the table, and illustrates his points with interesting examples. He discusses the complexities of the law in regard to aging in a clear, direct style that
readers of all experience levels will appreciate. This book is a must-read and a valuable desk reference for anyone who interacts with
elder clients. ~ Lynne J. DeVenny, Co-Author of Workers’ Compensation Practice for Paralegals and blogger at Practical Paralegalism


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