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Elder Law: It’s Not Just for Seniors Anymore

When you think about a career in elder law, what images come to mind? Elder Law

Do you envision yourself sifting through Medicaid’s endless bureaucracy? Or maybe you see yourself quietly chatting with grief-stricken adult children of dying nursing home residents.

You probably don’t see yourself testifying before Congress, shaping laws and making headlines by uncovering egregious cases of financial exploitation–but you should.

Elder law is a practice area that’s growing, both in its scope and in opportunities for newly minted lawyers.

Not that long ago, elder law primarily focused on end-of-life issues, long-term care provisions, some estate planning and an awful lot nursing home visits. Naturally, most elder law attorneys dealt most often with the issues directly related to older Americans.

More recently, however, elder law has expanded its scope to include shaping public policy and laws to prevent physical abuse of the elderly, financial exploitation by relatives and financial institutions, and discrimination based on age.

Throughout the country, government agencies ranging from local police departments and city councils to the United States Congress are becoming increasingly concerned with the issue of elder abuse. They are commissioning research on the issue, building tools to help first responders and primary care givers identify abuse and writing legislation to help prevent it.

And they all need lawyers to get it done.

The problem with elder law attorneys is that there simply are not enough of them right now, which is why it’s a great practice area in which new lawyers can specialize.

Across the country, the vast majority of the lawyers who focus on elder law are older, much more experienced attorneys, according to the Center for Elder Justice and Policy in St. Paul, Minn. Each year, many of these attorneys retire, and they often don’t have any new lawyers to take over their practices.

In addition, every person who is lucky enough to grow old will eventually need an elder law attorney, which means your options are nearly limitless when it comes to finding a place to work. Like country living? Great, people living in rural America need elder law lawyers. More of a city person? Perfect, you will be able to find a job in any of America’s larger cities.

And the work will be diverse, exciting, rewarding and important.

 

About the Author

Sumita Dalal is the Founder and CEO of FindMyLawTutor, the largest and most trusted website and online portal that connects law students with law tutors for success in law school. Whether preparing for the LSAT, are currently a law student or are studying for the bar exam, FindMyLawTutor makes finding a law tutor fast and easy.

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