A Look At Elder Law from the Policy Side

Amanda Wyzykowski

Third-year student Amanda Wyzykowski spent her summer off from The John Marshall Law School doing research on senior issues as AARP prepared comments on new government regulations.

Wyzykowski spent eight weeks as a summer intern at the Washington, DC, headquarters of AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for persons 50 years old and older working on quality of life issues for older Americans.

As the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) works to establish its role under the Dodd-Frank Law, it has established an Older Americans Office. Wyzykowski worked with AARP staff doing research to offer comment on regulations the CFPB is recommending on such issues as financial exploitation, such as charges on overdrafts. Wyzykowski also got to work on amicus briefs for upcoming cases.

“When I came to law school, I didn’t really know what area of law I wanted to practice in. I ended up taking one of the introductory elder law classes as an elective and found that I really liked it. Ever since then, I’ve been pursuing the certificate, she explained.

Wyzykowski said the internship was helpful “because I got to see how policy is developed and how agencies work with outside groups, like AARP.  Although it was interesting work, my internship also helped me make a decision on the kind of elder law I want to practice.  I enjoy interaction with clients, so I see myself working in a law practice.”

During the 2011-2012 academic year, she worked at the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office.

Wyzykowski is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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