Since the introduction of the LLM in Estate Planning and Elder Law in 2004, Western
New England University School of Law faculty and alumni have gained a reputation
for expertise in this growing field. Today we are expanding our academic offerings in
this area to professionals in finance, accounting, and insurance through our new Master
of Science in Estate Planning and Elder Law program. The new degree will help non-lawyer professionals gain the understanding necessary in these fields to work more closely
with attorneys to provide the best service and advice to their clients.
In our feature story, we look beyond the traditional needs of estate planning and
into niche areas that may affect not only your own practices, but your personal decisions
about estate planning and elder care as well. Attorney Liz Myska LLM’ 13 offers an inspiring personal journey into serving clients with disabled family members. She took the
bold step to enroll in the LLM program just as she herself was deemed legally blind. Her
humor and humanity through challenging personal obstacles make her uniquely qualified
and understanding of the community she serves. Gina Barry ’99 is an attorney in Springfield with Bacon Wilson. She found ways to marry her two passions: law and animals
into a practice that includes estate planning for the care of pets that outlive their owners.
Professor Jennifer Levi offers insight into the special considerations of elder law estate
planning for same-sex couples.
In this issue you will also see examples of our School of Law’s international connections. Tatenda Chitemerere 3L, the focus of our Student Spotlight, is originally from
Zimbabwe and has just been sworn in as a U.S. citizen. He has a true appreciation for
his adopted home and the opportunities it has provided and looks forward to a bright
future of public service. Michael Hatchell ’02 offers us all an inspiring example of how
we can use our own skills and passions for good abroad and in our own backyards.
I am also pleased to introduce a new annual feature to this issue of Perspectives. It is
called “The Volunteer Honor Roll” and provides an overview of the numerous ways in
which our alumni and other members of the community share their time and talent to
enrich our institution. The generosity of our alumni/ae and the community at large is a
huge part of our organizational culture that defines our highly personal approach to legal
education. I thank your for your efforts.
Annual Giving and the establishment of named scholarships are among the many
ways you support our mission. Our development report shares the motivations of
Renee Miller-Mizia ’05, Michael McMyne ’90, and Leonard ’82 and Barbara McCue to
give. I hope they will inspire you to follow their example.
As many of you have read online and in Law Digest, the School of Law has frozen
tuition at current levels through 2017–2018 to help us attract the best and brightest
students and ease their financial burden. With your support, we can further reduce
the costs of attendance for our incoming students.
Professor and Dean