Students, Faculty Say Changing Population Creates a Growing Niche for Elder Law Lawyers

November 2011 – Chicago Lawyer

Professors Barry Kozak, Kelli Dudley and Michael Erde, and students Rebecca Erde and Sonja Jin quoted:

“[Elder law] is one of the fastest growing areas of legal practice,” said Kelli Dudley … who teaches a legal skills drafting course at The John Marshall Law School and runs a solo practice that focuses on helping people facing discrimination on mortgage lending.

“We used to offer one class every other semester, but as the area has grown we have seen more interest, so we decided to ramp it up, ” said Barry Kozak, who serves as director of the Elder Law Program at John Marshall.

“I handle a lot of guardianship and probate matters as well as living and special needs trusts. Living trusts are created during a person’s lifetime and are capable of being changed or terminated and the assets do not have to go through the probate process,” said Michael Erde, who will teach ethics and elder law at John Marshall.

“I wanted to work in a career where I felt like I was helping people,” said Rebecca Erde, who intends to specialize in elder law. “As An elder law attorney I will be guiding people who are making important decisions about their finances and health care support and making plans for their family’s future. Few people understand the intricacies of this area and how it can be used to their benefit.”

“I worked with immigrant survivors of domestic violence and I helped women and children obtain order of protection against their abusers,” said Sonja Jin, who intends to specialize in elder law. “… I believe elder law is very holistic and it touches on everything that I have been doing. I also feel that the needs of the elderly are not as highlights as they should be.”

PDF: A Changing Population Creates a Growing Niche for Lawyers

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