Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is sometimes frustration that leads us to passion, and then to discover our life’s work. My experience as the son of two parents with big health challenges is what led me to the work I do today. My mother has wrestled with Parkinson’s Disease for more than two decades. My father suffered a major stroke in May 2001. For many years, even as I tried to be a loving son to both of them, I began to notice just how little I knew about the larger systems that were playing increasingly big roles in their daily lives- things like the ins and outs of Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program. I was curious about how I could make their lives better by knowing more about these systems. (I sometimes wished I could back in time and plan for the big changes in their lives, but absent a time machine, that just wasn’t possible.)
Over time, as I learned a little more about how to meet their needs and as I grew into assuming more responsibilities (for my father in particular), I also learned that there were entire legal specialties devoted to serving people whose needs were quite similar to theirs. I soon found that I could pursue a career in the areas of elder law & the related area of special needs planning. I had a great opportunity to turn some of the biggest challenges in my family’s experience into a source of strength and direction.
While at Georgia State University College of Law, I gained invaluable experience interning at the two senior-oriented divisions of Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Atlanta Legal Aid’s Georgia Senior Legal Hotline trained me to provide quick advice on a broad range of legal issues facing aging Georgians, from consumer matters to landlord-tenant disputes to questions about public benefits. The Senior Citizens Law Project gave me the opportunity for more in-depth advocacy for a smaller number of clients, whose cases often involved probate issues, Medicare, and Social Security benefits. After graduation from GSU Law, I was chosen from dozens of applicants nationwide as one of three 2010-2011 Borchard Foundation on Law & Aging fellows. As a Borchard fellow, I had the privilege of continuing to work for Atlanta Legal Aid Society, this time as an attorney.
After completing my fellowship, I launched my own private practice. Today, I find great satisfaction in serving clients across Georgia who need help in the areas of elder law, estate planning, & special needs planning.