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Live Roundtable Event: Attracting and Retaining Today’s Elder Law Clientele

July 27, 2022 @ 1:00 pm 2:30 pm EDT

Letha Sgritta McDowell CELA, Courtney Petley LCSW C-ASWCM, Todd Whatley CELA, Scott M. Solkoff Esq and Sky Bergman
Elder Law Planning

As people live longer and have more active lives into their later years, we can perceive a shift in the typical Elder Law Planning client demographic.  How to best reach potential clients who need legal services, and how to retain those clients, can be a challenge.  It not only requires specific legal knowledge, but also an understanding of the issues faced by contemporary seniors.

Join us for a complimentary live video roundtable event, moderated by past NAELA president Letha McDowell, and including a panel of experts in both Elder Law and working with senior citizens.  This robust discussion will feature the insight of three Elder Law attorneys, an experienced geriatric care manager, and a documentary filmmaker who spotlighted seniors in her recent work.  The speakers will identify many of the issues, concerns, attitudes, and circumstances facing today’s senior population, with the goal of uncovering what it takes to engage with this group and maintain meaningful and mutually rewarding client relationships.  Attorneys often choose to practice Elder Law because it provides both professional and personal fulfillment, and this roundtable will endeavor to maximize that benefit by focusing on how to create valuable connections with both current  and future clients.

Continuing Education Credits

InterActive Legal is not an approved Continuing Education (CE) Sponsor. However, several states and regulatory agencies for a variety of professionals that participate on our teleconferences may still receive continuing education credit for their participation. If a participant wishes to receive CE credit for their participation in these teleconferences, they must apply to receive credit on their own and through their individual states and regulatory authorities. It is the responsibility of the participant to file for CE credit and is not guaranteed by the webinar sponsors.

Speaker Bios

Letha Sgritta McDowell currently serves as InterActive Legal's Director of Legal Strategy. Letha is an ACTEC Fellow and past president of NAELA, and practices law with The Hook Law Center. She is licensed to practice in both North Carolina and Virginia and has been an elder law and special needs planning attorney for more than 15 Years. Letha is a Certified Elder Law Attorney, is Board Certified as a specialist in Elder Law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, and is accredited to prepare and prosecute claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

At InterActive Legal, Letha provides insight into how modern law firms run in order to assist in strategic decisions about how to maximize the tools provided by InterActive Legal, as well as what tools may be useful for practitioners in the future. In addition, Letha contributes to the elder law and special needs planning content in the software and to the InterActive Legal practice management and development tools.

Letha is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the North Carolina Bar Association's Elder Law and Estate Planning Sections, serves as Vice President of the Elder Law Specialization Committee for the North Carolina State Bar, and serves as an active mentor to a number of young attorneys through the North Carolina Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She is a 2001 graduate of Purdue University and a 2004 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law.

Courtney Petley is a Virginia Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is certified as an Advanced Social Work Case Manager.  She has more than 15 years of experience as a clinical social worker and an administrator in Virginia’s public sector mental health system at an inpatient geriatric mental health facility, as well as in the community as part of the PACE model, a government-funded long-term care management program.  Courtney has provided training for assisted living facility staff through the Department of Gerontology at VCU and the Virginia Department of Social Services, and provides education for family and professional caregivers in the community on various topics including managing challenging behaviors in dementia, coping and self-care for caregivers, recognizing and responding to depression, and sexuality and aging.  She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Aging Life Care Association™, which is the national professional and certifying organization for geriatric care managers.  Areas of professional interest include clinical training and supervision, caregiver education and support, and quality of life issues for older adults.

Todd Whatley is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Todd is Past President of The National Elder Law Foundation. He has been in practice since 1999 focusing all but one year of practice to Elder Law. While still running a very busy Elder Law practice, Todd is also the creator of The Elder Law Coach, a national coaching business working with attorneys just getting into Elder Law and attorneys who want to become very proficient in Elder Law and grow their practice and LOVE their work. He is also co-host to two podcasts The Elder Law Coach and the Top 10 Senior related podcast, Answers on Aging.

Scott Solkoff is President of Elder Law College and a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney. He is a Past-Chair of The Florida Bar’s Elder Law Section, Past-President of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys and has also served as a Board Member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Florida State Guardianship Association. Scott is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the co-author, with his father, of a 1000-page two-volume set, Florida Elder Law Practice Guide, for Thomson Reuters. Scott started Elder Law College as a tribute to his father, Jerome Ira Solkoff, one of the pioneers of the field and Scott’s mentor (and many other lawyers) in Elder Law. Elder Law College provides attorneys with a guided path into the field of Elder Law through its three and a half day “360 Elder Law Practice Builder Program,” a robust Member Portal with hundreds of hours and video and audio for Elder Law training and solution-spotting, regular meetings and seminars and a private listserv. With members from thirty-six states, state chapters have also formed and the organization itself has a state resources section on its Member Portal. In both his practice and for Elder Law College, Scott’s guiding business principle, instilled by his father, is to do well by doing good and he sees Elder Law as an ideal vehicle for doing so.

Sky Bergman is an accomplished, award-winning photographer and filmmaker. Lives Well Lived, Sky’s directorial debut celebrates the incredible wit and wisdom of people aged 75–100, who reveal their secrets for living a meaningful life. Encompassing 3,000 years of collective life experience, diverse people share life lessons about perseverance, the human spirit, and staying positive in the midst of life’s greatest challenges. Their stories will make you laugh, perhaps cry, but mostly inspire you.  The film has screened in more than 500 cities, won eight awards, and the theatrical run garnered enthusiastic reviews including a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is currently airing on PBS and is available on Amazon, iTunes, PBS Passport, and on DVD at Shop PBS.

Her fine art photography is included in permanent collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Her commercial photography has appeared on book covers for Random House and Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc., and magazine spreads in Smithsonian, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Reader’s Digest, and Archaeology Odyssey.

Sky Bergman is a Professor Emeritus of Photography and Video at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. She has two short films about intergenerational connections currently on the film festival circuit and is working on a feature-length film that is a celebration of love.

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