How do I choose an Elder Law Attorney?

By Jim Schuster, Certified Elder Law Attorney
24330 Lahser, Southfield, MI 48033 – (248) 356-3500

You can choose a good elder law attorney by reviewing his/her activity in the elder law section of their state bar. Check to see if they have been active on committees or have been officers of the section. You can also check to see if he or she is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. If the attorney has not had at least a minimal involvement in the field of elder law, you should inquire of the attorney as to why not

Check to see if the attorney is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by going to NELF.ORG, the organization that certifies attorneys. To be certified the attorney must sit for and pass an all day exam, have proven five years experience handling elder law matters, and have the recommendation of other attorneys.

You can also inquire whether the attorney belongs to the prestigious American Bar Association.
You can check to see if the lawyer has been “AV” rated by Martindale Hubbell, the traditional rating service for lawyers. You may check the newer consumer oriented sites such as or

You may inquire as to whether the lawyer has had articles published in the field of elder law. Does the lawyer have a blog? Has the lawyer written on his or her website?

The final test is your comfort with the lawyer. No matter the credentials, if you don’t feel comfortable, move on. You will find a lawyer that you can trust with your important family matters.