Lawyer Monthly - June 2022

Nurturing Elder Law Practices in 2022 JUN 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM are an estate planning attorney, then adding elder law is a logical next step. Establishing your elder law practice as an estate planning attorney can be done faster, as you have an existing client base that already needs your services, or they may have friends or loved ones who need elder law services. Having an existing practice and adding elder law can certainly help shorten the time needed to get established, because you have existing referral sources and existing clients to talk to immediately about needing elder law services. For others who are starting a new elder law practice without a related practice already established, the differences lie in identifying who to reach out to as potential referral sources, getting clear on your marketing message and who you are trying to reach, and really understanding what type of elder law services you want to provide, which will drive the decisions you make about referral sources and marketing. To illustrate, elder law encompasses a broad area of practice areas. You could offer Medicaid planning, special needs Please tell us a little about the current elder law environment. How has it developed in the US since you joined the field? Elder law has definitely become a more recognised area of law since I started practicing in this area in 2004. Over time I have seen more law schools offering elder law classes, with some offering advanced degrees in elder law. More national organisations are also offering elder law education, and within ElderCounsel we have seen much more interest in adding it as a practice area than in 2008 when we first started as a membership organisation. In what ways does establishing an elder law practice differ from other kinds of law firms? It depends on the type of practice you had before adding elder law. If you Valerie L Peterson Chief Executive ElderCounsel LLC Tel: +1 888-789-9908 x581 +1 541-588-6262 ELDER LAW COVER FEATURE - VALERIE PETERSON As evinced in the other elder law features in this month’s edition of Lawyer Monthly, elder law is a flourishing sector of law in the US and internationally. Rising demand must be met by capable elder law practitioners – which is where Valerie Peterson and ElderCounsel come in. In this exclusive interview, Valerie explores how her organisation helps to empower new and growing firms to add elder law to their practice, and the personal conviction that led her to specialise in this crucial sector. 13

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