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Mary Jane Ciccarello has been advocating for the legal rights of older persons for over two decades. Her legal practice focuses on elder law—planning ahead, medical and financial decision making, government benefits including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, long-term care and housing, capacity determination, caregiving, protection from abuse and exploitation, and guardianship.

Mary Jane has been of counsel with LOVS since November 2017. She also serves as the co-director of the national Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging whose mission is through education, research and service, to help improve the quality of life for elderly people, including those who are poor or otherwise isolated by lack of education, language, culture, disability or other barriers. She was the director of the Self-Help Center of the Utah State Courts for 10 years from its creation until August 2017. Before joining the courts, she was an elder law attorney in private practice. She also served previously as the Legal Services Developer for the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services, a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake and Utah Legal Services, and the dean of students at the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law where she has taught elder law and poverty law.

Originally from New York, Mary Jane received her B.A. magna cum laude from Barnard College (1975), M.A. (1976) and M.Phil. (1978) in Italian from Columbia University, and J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law (1993).

The Utah State Bar named her the distinguished pro bono lawyer of 1997. She was awarded the 2008 Pete Suazo Social Justice Award for individual advocacy by the University of Utah College of Social Work, a meritorious service award in 2010 by the Utah Judicial Council, and the 2017 Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award from the Utah State Bar, Utah Legal Services, and the University of Utah College of Law.  She served as the chair of the Needs of the Elderly Committee of the Utah State Bar (2002-2004; the committee was awarded the Utah State Bar’s Distinguished Committee award in 2003) and as president of the board of Jewish Family Service of Salt Lake (2003-2005). She is a member of Utah’s WINGS (Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders) and the board of Justice in Aging, the national law and aging advocacy organization.

Mary Jane writes and lectures regularly on law and aging issues and on the delivery of legal services.  Among her publications are “Person Centered Planning and Supported Decision Making” (with Maureen Henry), Utah Bar Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3, May/June 2014; “Recent Legal Trends Affecting Your Older Patients” in a special September 2007 geriatrics issue of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology;  “Aging Agencies:  Federal Level” in The Encyclopedia of Elder Care, 2nd edition; and, together with Professor Edward D. Spurgeon, “The Lawyer in Other Fiduciary Roles: Policy and Ethical Considerations” in a special March 1994 issue of the Fordham Law Review on Ethical Issues in Representing Older Clients, and “The Lawyer as Guardian: Policy and Ethical Considerations” in a special Spring 2002 issue of the Stetson Law Review on Wingspan-The Second National Guardianship Conference.

When she isn't out making the world a more just place, Mary Jane enjoys spending as much time as she can being a new grandmother.