Every year, Virginia Business Magazine in Richmond, Virginia posts a list of the “Legal Elite.” These are attorneys selected as the top attorneys for over 20 different areas of practice. For several years in a row, I have been delighted to be selected as an elder law “Legal Elite.” If you are in a small office, I think it’s harder to become known as a “go-to” attorney, especially if the voting is among your peers statewide.
Sometimes I hear other attorneys talk about hating their jobs. There are lots of jokes about attorneys, and lots of commentary about attorneys being a slave to their jobs. (It’s not usually elder law attorneys.) I am not exaggerating when I say I really love what I do. I didn’t love being a lawyer in my early days when my practice included other practice areas including health care law and employment law. There was lots of research and looking at regulations and helping companies comply with the law, and very limited contacted with people needing help with meaningful personal matters.
Maybe one reason I love my job is because sometimes I can be a hero! Under difficult circumstances, I can help families figure out how they can pay for nursing home care when they have little hope. Or sometimes I help family members take control of decision-making when their loved one has become incapacitated (and a health, safety, and/or financial risk to themselves). Just like I have never wanted to be a trial attorney, a trial attorney probably doesn’t want a job like mine where sometimes I have to get down and dirty in an elderly hoarder’s house and help them out of crisis. It takes all kinds.
I am very proud and thankful for the recognition in Virginia Business Magazine.