Friday I ran into the office to pick up some papers when the phone rang. It was a Virginia attorney with a knotty case involving a profoundly handicapped, aging client. “I’ve looked at many options,” the attorney said, “and I’m wondering if a reverse mortgage might be a solution.”
After describing the situation, the attorney mentioned, “This person has no one left who cares, and for my part, he’s really become more family than client.”
Not the first time
This was far from being the first time I have heard a similar story, so perhaps it was the direness of the client’s situation that made me reflect – reflect on the unwavering, unflagging, relentless effort Elder and Disability Law attorneys expend advocating for their clients. Reflect on the extraordinary measures attorneys go to in seeking justice for the vulnerable. Reflect on the care and concern – at times without pay – attorneys pour out protecting the seemingly forgotten members of our communities. I probably know a hundred Elder Law attorneys, and I can honestly say I can’t name one I would not entrust with the affairs of my own family.
I’m not naïve – I know there are bad lawyers, just as I know there are bad doctors, teachers and clergy. We all know there are bad loan officers – I’ve known some of them. Heck, over the years I’ve worked with some of them. But as a group, I would have to say lawyers get a disproportionately bad rap.
So here’s an open letter of thanks to the attorneys of our communities, those who spend time, talent, and at times even their own treasure, advocating, protecting, interceding on behalf of those whom many of us will never meet.
As one who also spends countless hours working out solutions for our seniors, personally I thank you. And please know I consider you among the unsung heroes of our age.