What is a Certified Elder Law Attorney?

Attorneys certified in elder law offer you something that other attorneys do not: professional expertise in the unique needs of older, maturing populations. Certified Elder Law attorneys are not just authorities on legal issues affecting seniors, they are also familiar with other vital resources and services – both public and private – that can help meet the needs of senior citizens, including those with disabilities. 

By choosing a Certified Elder Law Attorney (also called a “CELA”), you know you will receive expert advice and representation from a lawyer who has demonstrated a serious commitment to helping seniors by becoming certified in elder law.

Elder law attorneys are certified by the Board of Certification of the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), a nonprofit organization founded in 1993. NELF is dedicated to developing and improving the professional competence of lawyers in the focused are of elder law and special needs. 

The certification program identifies those lawyers who have the specialized knowledge, skills, experience and proficiency to resolve issues that affect older people. NELF’s Elder Law Certification Program is the only elder law program accredited by the American Bar Association.  

Founder Thom Cooper and Managing Partner Mitch Adel are among a group of only 22 attorneys in Ohio certified as Elder Law Specialists by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF) and Attorney Cooper was among the charter members to become certified in 1995.  NELF is approved by the Ohio Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists and by the American Bar Association.

Attorneys Cooper and Adel have also been admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Attorneys Cooper and Adel are rated “Superb” by AVVO which is a professional organization that rates 95% of the attorneys in the US and considers years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Attorneys Cooper and Adel are also members of the American Association of Trust, Estate and Elder Law Attorneys (AATEELA), an invitation-only, nationwide professional association as well as the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).  Attorney Cooper is a past president of AATEELA.

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