J.D., University of Miami
B.A., University of Arizona
Professor Katherine Pearson is a scholar of legal issues facing older adults, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to elder care. Her recent scholarship focuses on protection of older adults, regulation of continuing care retirement and life care communities, and public and private obligations under filial support laws. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Penn State University.
A 2009-2010 Fulbright scholar, Professor Pearson was the Petersen Visiting Scholar in Gerontology and Family Studies at Oregon State University and a scholar in residence at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, where she conducted interdisciplinary research. She was awarded a 2012 research grant by the Borchard Foundation.
Professor Pearson uses her background as a practicing attorney, with experience in jury trials, to inform her teaching, including classes on evidence, non-profit organizations, and contracts. Her international work includes courses on cross-border family law and comparative social security policies. Professor Pearson created and directed the Elder Protection Clinic, which operated from 2001 to 2012, providing students with opportunities for "first chair" representation of older adults on cutting edge legal issues.
Books and Book Chapters
The Law of Financial Abuse and Exploitation (with Trisha Cowart) (Bisel Publishing, 2011)
“Filial Support Obligations in Pennsylvania Adult Children, Parents, and Spouses,” in Elder Law in Pennsylvania (Jeffrey Marshall, ed., 3d ed. 2011)
Selected Journal Articles
“Capacity, Conflict, and Change: Elder Law and Estate Planning Themes in an Aging World,” 117 Penn State L. Rev. 979 (2013)(Introduction to Symposium Issue)
“Older People and Legal Advice: The Need for Joined Up and Creative Approaches,” UK Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law (with J. Duffy & S. Basu), Vol. 34, No. 1. (2012), pp 31-47
“Will Continuing Care Retirement Communities Continue?” 82 Pa. B. Quarterly 69 (2011) (with Joshua Wilkins) (Symposium on the Future of Elder Law)
“The Lesson of the Irish Family Pub: The Elder Law Clinic Path to a More Thoughtful Practice,” 40 Stetson L. Rev. 237 (Fall 2010, Elder Law Symposium Issue)
The Responsible Thing to do About “Responsible Party” Provisions in Nursing Home Agreements: A Proposal for Change on Three Fronts, 37 U. Mich. J. Law Reform 757 (No. 3, 2004)
- "Nursing Home Contracts Revisited," Presentation at AALS, Section on Aging and the Law, January 3, 2014
- “Nursing Home Contracts: Might You Be the Responsible Party?,” Illinois State Bar Association — Trusts & Estates Newsletter, Vol. 60. No. 6 (December 2013)
- Elder Law Prof Blog
- Video: Katherine Pearson on PA Filial Support Decision
- Elder Law Resource Center
- Elder Law Bibliography
- Personal web page
- Presentation to Neurology Grand Rounds, Penn State Hershey Medical, September 2013, on “Dementia Care and the Law: From Powers of Attorney to Guardianships and Beyond.”
- Presentation to Mid-Atlantic Law & Society Association, October 2012, on “Older Adults’ Access to Legal Advice and Effective Justice”