Fowler School of Law students assist senior citizens in need as part of the ongoing work of the Alona Cortese Elder Law Center at Chapman University.

Fowler School of Law students assist senior citizens in need as part of the ongoing work of the Alona Cortese Elder Law Center at Chapman University.

ORANGE, Calif., June 10, 2015 –
Each year, more than 5 million older persons are abused, neglected and exploited in the United States. Elder citizens lose an estimated $2.6 billion annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living. Yet very few systems exist to help combat this abuse.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, marked on Monday, June 15 this year
, aims to increase public knowledge of the growing social justice movement to end elder abuse and improve the lives of senior citizens.

At Chapman University, the Alona Cortese Elder Law Center
, under the direction of law professor Kurt Eggert, offers free legal assistance to low-income senior citizens and resolves more than 200 cases each year. Established in 2000 by Chapman’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law, the Center, staffed by law students under the supervision of law faculty, provides critical services for Orange County seniors in need, including free basic legal advice in claims of elder abuse and exploitation, will drafting, advance health care directives, representation at administrative hearings, Medicare, Social Security, guardianship and conservatorship. Fowler Law students also provide guidance to clients about their rights as consumers and how to avoid financial abuse. Thanks to a generous gift from the Cortese family in 2004, the Center is located in a beautifully restored, client-friendly Craftsman-era house in Old Towne Orange. The public can contact the Center at 714-628-2577 or

Sandy Skahen, clinical professor in Chapman’s Cortese Elder Law Center, will be participating in an event marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on
Sunday, June 14 at Laguna Woods Village at 1:30 p.m.
The public can attend, hear survivors’ stories, learn from experts including Professor Skahen, and celebrate the work of those who are improving the lives of older adults. Admission: free with RSVP. Location: Laguna Woods Village Club House, 323822 Avenida Sevilla, Laguna Woods. RSVP: 949-527-6885. More information:

“We are so proud of the work being performed by our law students and their faculty advisors in the Alona Cortese Elder Law Center, and proud to support and promote World Elder Abuse Awareness Day,” said Tom Campbell, dean of Chapman’s Fowler School of Law. “In the first quarter of 2015 alone, the Center opened 27 new client cases, and our faculty and students remain involved in resolving 85 active cases. Each semester, our students are assigned between five and seven new cases, giving them the opportunity to learn key aspects of elder law while obtaining hands-on experience representing real clients.”


The mission of the Alona Cortese Elder Law Center is to offer free legal services to the elderly and needy of Orange County, while at the same time providing Chapman University Fowler School of Law students with a variety of cases that will increase their legal knowledge and skills. The Center also educates law students to become more effective young lawyers entering their profession, and exposes them to critical areas of the law affecting the elderly, the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill. The Center also strives to show students the joys and benefits of pro bono lawyering.


Having earned a Top Schools ranking in
U.S. News and World Report
, the Fowler School of Law at Chapman University emphasizes personalized traditional legal instruction, real-world skills training and professionalism. The law school is located in Orange County, California, and is known for its excellent faculty, collegial atmosphere and personalized education.

Follow us on Facebook at:           
Fowler School of Law Facebook

On Twitter at:                                   


Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world.

Follow us on Facebook at:
Chapman University Facebook

On Twitter at:

On YouTube at:
Chapman University YouTube Channel



Log In
Open Main Menu