By Steven Rubin, CELA
When I was in law school, my mom was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). I spent hours doing the research needed to make sure she got the best care. This involved learning about estate planning, care-related issues, care management, and health insurance. The insurance issues were especially tricky because most ALS treatments were experimental in those days, as they are today. Medicare didn’t cover them, so I was always doing battle with insurance companies.
None of us thought that Mom would live to see my law school graduation, but she did. She passed away in October 2011, just 72 hours after she witnessed my swearing in ceremony.
After graduation, I started working at a commercial litigation firm in Connecticut that represented large Fortune 500 companies going up against other Fortune 500 companies. Working in this kind of firm had been my dream throughout law school, and I was excited to be working in this realm.
About four months later, as I was working on a litigation case that had estate planning and elder law components, I found these issues fascinating. The more I worked on this case, I realized that I really liked this area of law. I started talking to a few attorneys I knew who were practicing elder law. Most of them focused on things like Medicaid planning, tax planning, and asset protection in addition to estate planning matters like wills and trusts, but one attorney, Franklin Drazen, was equally conversant in care-related issues. As I got to know Franklin, I realized that he was running a different kind of elder law firm—a Life Care Planning Law Firm.
I started chatting regularly with Franklin. One day, I told him how much I had enjoyed working on the case with the elder law issues. In response, he posed a question that would end up changing my life. "Why don't you give elder law a try?" he asked.
I thought Franklin was crazy for asking the question. After all, I loved litigating. I was living my dream, or so I thought, but as time went on, I realized Franklin might be on to something. The more I learned about Life Care Planning, the more I realized that it was exactly the type of law I wanted to practice. So, when I decided to transition to elder law, Franklin’s firm was the one I chose.
That was ten years ago. As I look back, I didn't think I would be able to practice elder law for long. I figured I would burn out quickly, but the opposite happened. I fell in love with elder law. I don't think there's any other area of law that's as rewarding, or one where you can have such a big impact on somebody's life. I enjoy it so much that it doesn’t feel like work. It feels more like a mission. While there are moments when I would like to return to litigation, I could never go back to that kind of law on a full-time basis. What we do here as a Life Care Planning Law Firm is so much more rewarding.
Steven Rubin is a Certified Elder Law Attorney and partner at Drazen Rubin Law, a Life Care Planning Law Firm in Milford, Connecticut.