Tell us a little bit about your career.
Right now, I am the attorney and executive director of a regional public guardianship program.
Two years ago, I opened a private practice to focus on family, elder law and basic property law. My entire professional career has been devoted to advocating for the rights of people with limited financial resources, older people and/or people with disabilities.
Is it what you had planned when you started law school?
I had been out of college for 5 years when I decided to go to law school. I was working as a case manager in a low-income senior housing project. At that time, there were several persons who were illiterate and were facing major problems with exploitation. I saw firsthand how effective the legal services lawyer was in resolving their problems which encouraged me to attend law schools. My family was thrilled at my decision because I think they thought I would make significantly more money as a lawyer than I was making as a case manager. Even though I graduated law school with honors and probably could have found a job that made more money than a case manager, I opted instead to start my legal career as an Older Americans Act legal services lawyer. I haven’t regretted that decision for one moment.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I don’t think I’ve reached the highlight of my career yet. The goal posts keep moving. My accomplishments have been modest. I remember being a law intern and thinking I had arrived because I was sitting in the judge’s chamber with my new briefcase. And then, just a few years ago, I was a speaker at an international conference on guardianship.
I think I am most satisfied by my participation in policy discussions in my state on guardianship reform. Given the advancing age of America, my career has focused on an area that has major policy implications for almost every aspect of our society.
If you could go back to the beginning of your legal career, would you have done anything differently?
Without a doubt, I would act with more confidence and without limitations. I shied away from litigation, but now I am embracing it. I am no longer afraid of learning new things and stepping out. My involvement with the SLD Council is an example of that. I have not been involved in the ABA in the past, but I am loving every moment and appreciating each opportunity to contribute to the profession.