Mary Jane Ciccarello


Mary Jane Ciccarello has served as Director of the Borchard Center on Law & Aging since January 2018. She had served since 2011 as Co-Director with Edward D. Spurgeon who had been the Center’s Executive Director since the Center’s founding in 1998.

Mary Jane has been affiliated with the Borchard Center on Law & Aging since 2001 when she was first elected a fellow. In that role, and later as the assistant director and co-director, Mary Jane has been an integral part of the Center’s activities, including the fellowship and academic research grant programs, the Web site, and national conferences.

In addition to her work with the Center, Mary Jane was the Director of the Utah State Courts Self-Help Center between 2007 and 2017. She was an elder law attorney in private practice in Salt Lake City, Utah, for several years and provided Older Americans Act Title III legal services to older persons in northern Utah. She also served previously as the Legal Services Developer for the Utah State 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 taught elder law and poverty law as an adjunct professor.

Mary Jane received her B.A. magna cum laude in Italian 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 Graduate School of Social Work, and a meritorious service award in 2010 by the Utah Judicial Council. She served as the chair of the Needs of the Elderly Committee of the Utah State Bar (2002-2004) and as president of the board of Jewish Family Service of Salt Lake (2003-2005). In 2017 she received the Pro Bono Distinguished Service Award from the Utah State Bar, Utah Legal Services and the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. She helped create Utah's WINGS ("Working Network of Guardianship Stakeholders") and served on its executive committee for several years. Mary Jane currently serves as a board member of Justice in Aging and is the Borchard Center on Law & Aging's liaison to the ABA Commission on Law and Aging.

Mary Jane writes and presents regularly on law and aging as well as the delivery of legal services. Among her publications are "The Self-Help Center of the Utah State Courts: An Essential Component of Access to Justice" in the Winter 2019-20 issue of Generations on Older Adults and Access to Justice; “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.