The Kimble Center for Legal Drafting at WMU-Cooley Law School has released its first public document—a medical power of attorney.
The full form is available for download on the center’s website. The document has been 18 months in the making and went through more than 50 drafts. It was reviewed by experienced elder-law attorneys, doctors, and the center’s international board of advisers, whose members are experts in plain language, forms and website design, and user testing. The form has received the WriteMark Plain-Language Standard from Write Limited, based in New Zealand.
The next step will be testing with actual users at Michigan State University’s department of Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting. “Although it would have been preferable to wait until after testing to make the form available,” said the center’s senior director, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Joseph Kimble, “current circumstances created a more immediate need. Everybody should have a medical power of attorney.” The center’s goal is to make it readily available and easy to use — and improve it if need be as time goes on.
The center is partnering with Michigan Legal Help, which offers an array of helpful information and forms on its website, now including this medical power of attorney.
The center was created by WMU-Cooley Law School in 2018. It was named after Professor Kimble, who taught legal writing and drafting at the school for more than 30 years. Professor Mark Cooney is the executive director.
The center has a public-service mission: produce high-quality, user-friendly documents and make them available on its website, and occasionally offer free writing and drafting seminars for lawyers, paralegals, and law students.