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  • April 22, 2014

    April 22, 2014   Practice Building Ideas

    Venturing out…how to start (and succeed) in building your own Elder Law practice

    By Alisa Spirit of the Wind

    Nancie Dorjath is not new to elder law, or even to helping seniors. She grew up in a part of Chicago where living in multi-generational homes and being raised by grandparents was commonplace, and where helping seniors in the neighborhood was a natural part of the day.   When Nancie graduated from law school, she began her career in estate planning, as she enjoyed listening to clients regarding their needs and then developing the appropriate documents to accomplish their goals. About 10 years ago she transitioned into practicing elder law, and has never looked back. The joy for her is in helping seniors and making a difference in their lives.  A little over 2 months ago, Nancie decided to strike out on her own. A large part of this decision was realizing that she could be eff... Read More

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  • November 18, 2013

    November 18, 2013   Practice Building Ideas,   Employee Blogs

    Intake Form vs. Design Sheets: Are You Using Them?

    By Lisa Evans

    ElderCounsel provides several resources for the attorney or paralegal to use when collecting data FROM the client or FOR a client.  I would like to tell you about them. WHEN WOULD YOU USE THESE FORMS?The INTAKE FORM (also called a client questionnaire) is great to use when you are having your first meeting with a client to give you a complete overview of the situation.  Some attorneys fill this out prior to the first appointment, while others complete this immediately afterwards.  The DESIGN SHEETS are great after you’ve been hired and you need to design a client’s plan.  You can complete the design sheets, then hand these off to a staff person to draft the documents for your review. This tool provides you the opportunity to simplify and streamline your draf... Read More

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  • September 26, 2013

    September 26, 2013   Practice Building Ideas

    The Journey to EC OMS-Part 2

    By Audrey Ehrhardt

    In the first part of this two part blog series, Audrey described what led her to create forms and systems that served as the foundation of her ideal practice. Read on to discover how she used these systems to increase her practice success while becoming a mom and relocating….  The work began. I built a system for each area of law being practiced in my firm.  Internally, it increased my firm’s overall efficiency overnight.  It made my staff members more reliable and comfortable in the work they did which increased their overall job satisfaction.  I was able to spend more time out of the office marketing because I had full confidence the work would be done right and on time in my absence.  When I wrote the marketing pieces, incorporating the referral d... Read More

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  • September 23, 2013

    September 23, 2013   Practice Building Ideas

    The Journey to EC OMS-Part 1

    By Audrey Ehrhardt

    This is the first of a two part blog series offered by Audrey Ehrhardt, Director of the Office Management Division at ElderCounsel. In this first part of the series you will get a look into the path Audrey had in developing the elder law practice she envisioned.   When I opened the doors of my own law firm I knew I wanted to practice a very specific type of elder law.  I envisioned a practice solely supported by a steady stream of paying clients who hired me for legal services in three very, specific area – crisis Medicaid planning, proactive Medicaid planning and asset protection planning for VA Pension.  What I quickly found was an overwhelming amount of clients who did not fit the profile of the type of client I envisioned myself working with when I opened my pract... Read More

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  • June 27, 2013

    June 27, 2013   Practice Building Ideas

    Part One- A Brief Overview of Learning Styles and Why It’s Important to Identify Yours

    There are three common learning styles; Kinesthetic, Auditory and Visual. A Kinesthetic learner will process information better by using their large or small muscle groups in a hands-on activity or even by pacing when someone is lecturing. Someone that’s more predominantly Auditory can learn by hearing what is said and a Visual learner can simply watch a presentation or a diagram being drawn and the information will process. Here are some questions to help you identify your learning style. Do you remember something best when you are physically using your hands to be a part of the learning? Do you learn best by watching your teacher write what they are saying in visually appealing colors? Or are you content to listen and process information on an audio book or lecture? Some people ca... Read More

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  • May 9, 2013

    A Journey through Your Practice Gameplan™

    By Aylin Guven

    Included in ElderCounsel’s membership is a practice building roadmap that many new ElderCounsel members follow.  We call it, “Your Practice Gameplan™.”  This Gameplan is a combination of one-on-one coaching, webinars, and self-guided instruction which are all overseen by the member’s personal Member Representative.  The goal of Your Practice Gameplan™ is to help the attorney become profitable in their elder law practice as quickly as possible!  As part of Your Practice Gameplan™, members are offered the opportunity to be coached by Steve Riley, a Certified Atticus Practice Advisor.  Through a series of webinars, worksheets and phone calls, Steve works with attorneys of all firm sizes to help them take better care of t... Read More

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  • April 16, 2013

    April 16, 2013   Practice Building Ideas

    Yes, you can take it with you – accessing your files in the Cloud

    If you are a member who subscribes to ElderDocx and/or WealthDocx in the Cloud – or if you are considering it, you may have asked yourself what to do with the documents and answer files that you currently have on your local computer or network.  The good news is that you can transfer them to the Cloud, giving you access to your files wherever you have internet access and an internet capable device.When you are logging in to the Cloud, you have the option to allow access to your local files and locally connected devices.  Once you permit the access, you can now ‘see’ your local drives from Word, or when browsing using Windows Explorer in desktop full screen mode.  The names of any local drives will be followed by a ‘$’ sign, so your C: drive will be named C$.  Your Cloud drive... Read More

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  • March 28, 2013

    March 28, 2013   Practice Building Ideas

    Marketing Thoughts from a Certified Franchise Executive

    Recently, there was a post on the ElderCounsel Members listserv posing the question, “What is the BIGGEST advantage that Direct Mail has over on-line marketing?”Several members offered some very good answers including:Direct mail is much more likely to be opened and read.It is more targeted.Your social media audience may not even be online.Direct mail may have a shelf life.When someone is reading your direct mail piece, they are not reading something else at the same time (compared to being on the web).All of these responses are great tactics about TRAFFIC and REACH.  They are not, however, STRATEGY.  The tactics question, however, is relevant only subsequent to a well thought out and articulated marketing strategy.  Solutions to achieve TRAFFIC (number of readers) and REACH (speaki... Read More

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  • March 8, 2013

    March 8, 2013   Practice Building Ideas

    Document Drafting Software Now Cloud-Based

    ElderCounsel® is pleased to announce cloud-based versions of their popular ElderDocx® document-assembly program.  ElderDocx is a Hot-Docs based program that runs in a Windows environment.  A move to a Cloud-Based environment (meaning the program works on the internet) means the software will run on any computer, tablet or smartphone and is not reliant on Windows.The move was made in response to requests from members of the two organizations who wanted the convenience and mobility of cloud-based software.ElderCounsel spent the past year researching, testing, and building the most secure, agile, and user-friendly systems based on cloud server technology to offer a Cloud solution to its members.The new cloud version of ElderDocx will enable its members to:Assemble documents and access the... Read More

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  • August 16, 2012

    ElderCounsel® has announced two new National Advisory Board members who will also serve as the organization’s Special Needs Content Co-Editors.

    Bradley J. Frigon and Stephen Dale will assist ElderCounsel in expanding their current special needs planning document offering and will take active roles in teaching special needs planning courses for ElderCounsel.“We are pleased to have two of the top special needs planning attorneys in the country joining us,” said Valerie Peterson, Executive Director.  “Special needs planning attorneys provide a valuable service to individuals with disabilities and their families.  ElderCounsel is committed to providing the best planning documents and education possible for attorneys practicing in this area.”Dale and Frigon join existing National Advisory Board members Michael Gilfix, Frank Johns, Tim Nay, Rene Reixach and Mary Schmitt Smith, each of whom are elder law and special needs plann... Read More

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