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Ann F. Baum Memorial Elder Law Lecture: William Eskridge, Jr. of Yale Law School

Event Type
University of Illinois College of Law
Max L. Rowe Auditorium, Law Building (lecture will be delivered via Zoom)
Mar 9, 2023   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Free and open to the public
Originating Calendar
College of Law - Lectures Calendar

The College of Law presents the

Ann F. Baum Memorial Elder Law Lecture
Thursday, March 9, 2023
12:00 pm (CST)
Via Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 890 1035 1525
Password: 526567

(Attendees may join us in the Max L. Rowe Auditorium to watch the lecture, or view on their own personal device. A limited number of lunches will be available for those attending in the Auditorium.)

Featuring William N. Eskridge, Jr.
John A Garver Professor of Jurisprudence
Yale Law School

“Dying Alone? The Value of Designated Caregivers”  

Liberal society seeks to create a world in which everyone can live flourishing lives, but little discussed is the idea of a flourishing end-of-life. Andrew Holleran’s new book, “Empire of Sand” (2022) is an exploration of the challenges facing older gay men, who are more likely than other groups to grow old alone. Japanese culture has a term, Kodokushi, which means “Lonely Death,” which Holleran appropriates for his novel. What can law do to ameliorate the pain and challenges of lonely old age? The traditional law answer has been marriage and children, but that has not worked for gay and bisexual Baby Boomers. In the Holleran novel, friends and (for one elderly gay man) a handyman fill some of the gap for unmarried, childless gay men. Surprisingly, there is a legal institution for this that was created during the marriage equality debate: Colorado’s designated beneficiaries. DBs are not married and owe few obligations to one another but promise to “be there” for one another. The lecture will explore the value of DBs for older people of all orientations and argue that every state should adopt something like the Colorado law.

William N. Eskridge Jr. is the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at the Yale Law School. He has pioneered two new areas of legal scholarship, namely, Legislation and Statutory Interpretation (with the late Phil Frickey) in the 1980s and beyond and Sexuality Gender & the Law (with Nan Hunter) in the 1990s and beyond. For the 2020s and beyond, his newest interest is Artificial Intelligence, the Legal Profession, and Procedure. His most recent book is "Marriage Equality:  From Outlaws to In-Laws" (2020) (with Chris Riano).

Ann F. Baum Memorial Elder Law Lecture

In remembrance of the life of Mrs. Ann F. Baum, a gift through her estate has endowed the Ann F. Baum Memorial Elder Law Lecture. This lecture series seeks to promote the relevant and timely discussion of broad range of issues relating to the intersection of public policy, the law, and the elderly.

Mrs. Baum was born November 11, 1922, into a poor Irish Catholic family. A life-long resident of the Chicago area, Mrs. Baum grew up with seven siblings. She and her husband, the late Alvin H. Baum, operated an investment firm in Chicago. Mr. Baum passed away in 1982, and Mrs. Baum passed away in 2005.

Mrs. Baum and her late husband were compassionate individuals who supported a broad array of charities as well as providing direct support to needy individuals. Targets of their giving included the disadvantaged, the young, the elderly, religious organizations, educational organizations, and civic organizations. Their legacy of giving and sharing is continued through the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund of which Alvin and Ann were both benefactors. 

The Ann F. Baum Memorial Elder Law Lecture constitutes a fitting memorial to a woman who was deeply concerned with the rights and issues pertaining to elderly people in our society. 

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