July 01, 2013

RŌNIN REPORTS: Elder Law for Solos

Andrea G. Van Leesten

I have been a solo practicing elder law for more than 20 years. Initially, I assumed I was too young for this practice area, but I had a mentor, Dora, who thought differently. Dora assured me that this exciting area of the law would soon be taking off, and she even offered to mentor me the old-fashioned way, in her office. She sold me on the fact that I could work as a solo practicing elder law and earn a living. Even though I had already been practicing law for seven years at this point, Dora mandated that I come to her office 15 miles away and sit in the desk outside her office every day. I acted as her secretary, assistant, errand girl, and whatever else she needed. And three days a week I made her court appearances, met with her clients, and did other legal tasks while I watched her work. She also made me study the subjects that form the base of the practice. The relationship was seamless, and I truly learned how to practice elder law as a solo.

Not every new solo will find a mentor as giving of her time and her knowledge as Dora, but here are some tips to get you started.

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