Since Kelly is in the proverbial “driver’s seat” of Four Pillars Law Firm, it only makes sense that she serves on a Steering Committee. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist!). Early this month, Kelly and Matt drove down the highway to Pawley’s Island, South Carolina where they attended the North Carolina Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ “UnProgram”. Although the event only lasts a few days (September 6-8), she spent months preparing for the event with fellow elder law attorneys who served on the NAELA Steering Committee.
You’ve never heard of NAELA? It is the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a professional association of over 4,300 attorneys who are dedicated to improving the quality of legal services provided to aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities.
Specifically, NAELA members are experienced professionals trained in assisting clients with public benefits, estate planning, probate, guardianship, health and long term care planning, and other important issues relevant to their clients’ demographic. NAELA’s mission is to establish its members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people as they age and the lives of those with special needs.
In furthering its mission, the primary focus of NAELA is education. Multiple continuing legal educations are held throughout the year for Elder and Special Needs Law attorneys. The North Carolina Chapter has the same mission and dedication as the national association; however, the state Chapter enables a smaller contingent of these same dedicated professionals to network and discuss their own practices, experiences and learnings at a local level. This enables Chapter members to remain knowledgeable not only about national law and developments, but also to stay informed about state-specific legal changes and developments.
This year’s UnProgram was a three-day program which included one day of scheduled continuing legal education and two days of looser unscheduled exchanges where attendees broke into smaller groups to engage in discussions about different topics of interest. The interactive nature of a “small group” environment, as opposed to a presentation-driven agenda, allowed for a greater exchange of ideas. In doing so, the UnProgram not only delivered valuable traditional education to attendees, but also honored the benefits of brainstorming and sharing practical information among peers.