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About me

Linda S. Durston, Ph.D., J.D.,  practices estate, special needs and incapacity planning, probate and trust administration, conservatorship and guardianship law, and other aspects of  Elder Law.  She has a strong background in public benefits administration.


Ms. Durston is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, the Berkeley-Albany Bar Association, and East Bay Trusts & Estates Lawyers. She chaired the Elder Law, Conservatorship and Guardianship Committee Alameda County Bar Association and of East Bay Trusts & Estates Lawyers (2008-2010). She is a member of the California State Bar Trusts and Estates Executive Committee where she is active on the Incapacity, the Estate Planning, the Educating Consumers, and the Trust and Estate Quarterly subcommittees.


Ms. Durston is a contributing author to two of the University of California’s Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) practice treatises for lawyers: She coauthors Chapter 14 (“Duties of Conservators of the Estate”) and Chapter 22 (“Limited Conservatorships”) of CEB’sCalifornia Conservatorship Practiceand authors Chapter 5 (“Estate Planning”) of CEB’sSpecial Needs Trusts Planning: Drafting and Administration. She authored Chapter 12 (“Seeking or Opposing Removal of Trustee”) of Matthew Bender’s attorney practice guideCalifornia Trust Litigation.She coauthored a chapter on special needs trusts for the AIDS Legal Referral Panel’sAIDS Law Manual(2004 Fourth Edition). She is principal author with Linda G. Mills of “The Rhetoric, Politics, and Therapeutics of Opening Statements in Social Security Disability Hearings,”Yale Journal on Law and Feminism8, 1:119-144, 1996.


Ms. Durston is a frequent speaker to professional and community organizations on estate and special needs planning and administration. She recently appeared as a guest to discuss Social Security issues on Chuck Finney’s National Public Radio broadcast “Your Legal Rights” (station KALW).


Ms. Durston is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she received undergraduate and graduate (A.B., M.A., Can.Phil., and Ph.D.) degrees in Rhetoric. She received her J.D. from New College of California School of Law of San Francisco in 1999. She was admitted to practice law in the State of California and in United States Federal Court in the Northern District of California also in 1999. Before Ms. Durston entered the legal profession, she lectured in Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, and in English at the University of California, Davis, and San Jose State University.


She is the proud mother of one, loves to read, cook, knit and hike, and has a soft spot for Beethoven, Bach and Boxer dogs.



Practice areas


  1. Probate: 25%
    16 years, 300 cases
  2. Guardianship: 25%
    16 years, 300 cases
  3. Estate Planning: 25%
    16 years, 300 cases
  4. Elder Law: 25%
    16 years, 300 cases



Hourly ($250-350/hour)

Payment types:

Cash, Check

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Contact info

Law Offices of Linda S. Durston

Estate Planning & Elder Law
1604 Solano Avenue
Berkeley, CA, 94707


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Associate AttorneyDale Law Firm2000 - 2001
Attorney, formerly law clerkHawkins Center of Law1994 - 2000
Association namePosition nameDuration
California State Bar Trusts & Estates Executive CommitteeMember2010 - Present
National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysN/A2000 - Present
California Advocates for Nursing Home ReformN/A2000 - Present
East Bay Trusts and Estates LawyersN/AN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
California Trust Litigation, Matthew BenderSeeking or Opposing Removal of Trustee (Chapter 12)2012
California Conservatorship PracticeLimited Conservatorships (Chapter 22)2012
Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting Administration, CEBEstate Planning (Chapter 5)2011
California Conservatorship PracticeDuties of Conservators of the Estate2011
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
New College of California School of LawN/AJD - Juris Doctor1999
University of California - BerkeleyRhetoricPhD - Doctorate1984
University of California - BerkeleyRhetoricMA - Masters1979
University of California - BerkeleyRhetoricBA - Bachelor of Arts1977
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
3d Annual MeetingSocial Security Update2010