“Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – attributed to Confucius, Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury and others
“Ay-ay-ay, I’m on vacation, every single day ‘cause I love my occupation.” – song by The Dirty Heads
Well, I don’t know that I would ever consider my practice of law a vacation – I work really hard – but I do connect with the sentiments in an important way as LOVE is central to why and how I practice Elder Law. Here’s my story…
Way back in the years of big hair and even bigger shoulder pads, I decided to transition from teaching to law. Being a divorced mom of two young children, this was a big risk for me and my family. Throughout law school, life got even more complicated.
My parents were aging, each needed specialized care, and a strained relationship with a sibling complicated all decision-making with regard to family finances, healthcare and quality of life for them. To make matters even more complex, we had multi-generational family-owned business assets to untangle. When I graduated in 1989, there were no classes and almost no legal precedents in Elder Law. (The Karen Ann Quinlan case greatly changed this.) So, I sought out continuing education to acquire the knowledge and resources I needed to address my family situation. Without this specialized legal expertise, I don’t know how I would have been able to effectively advocate for my relatives that really needed someone on their side.
After securing as favorable an outcome as possible in my personal situation, I reflected on how gratifying it would be to help other people navigate these legal journeys which can be fraught with high emotions, feelings of guilt, drama, trauma and frustration. Armed with a highly specialized knowledge of the law (and grounded in personal compassion and empathy for the ill person), I determined I would make Elder Law my life’s work.
And work I do! Over the past three decades, it has been personally and professionally fulfilling to help good people get the care they need and the life they want for themselves and their loved ones. Through honest dealings and respect, I have formed strong relationships in the Connecticut courtrooms, and have made every effort to ensure that clients of every socioeconomic status could preserve the assets they accumulated over a lifetime.
Do I always prevail? I have a high rate of positive outcomes because I will not proceed with a legal matter that has a high likelihood of an unfavorable outcome. Instead, when possible, I recommend an alternative course of action to bring the client the relief desired. My clients know that I act ethically and in their best interests. Am I glad that circumstances led me to Elder Law? Absolutely. I am proud of my practice, grateful for my clients, and I continue to approach every case with the love that got me here.