Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lawyer of the Year

Although it’s hard for me to believe, I’ve been a lawyer for over 40 years. When I graduated from Stanford Law School in 1972 and got my first job, in San Jose, California, I didn’t like it. I spent most of my time involved in disputes between big corporations. The work didn’t seem important. I felt like I was wasting my education and the days of my life. 
Then, in 1979 my mother passed away and I returned to Pennsylvania to be near my father. I opened an office in a small town and started doing whatever work came my way. Some of that work involved wills and trusts and estate planning. I found that I really liked that part of my law practice. 
I particularly enjoyed spending time with seniors, hearing their stories and helping meet their needs. I realized this was the work I wanted to do – these people were important to me and they needed me and I could help them. By 1983 I had decided to devote my legal practice to representing seniors. It was the best career decision I ever made.
Looking back now, I understand that if you can find something you are passionate about, and you are fortunate enough to be able to do it every day, your days will likely be happy and fulfilling. And you are probably going to get to be quite good at what you are doing.
I was fortunate to have found my passion in elder law. I have loved being an elder law attorney. It has been tremendously rewarding to spend my days working with seniors and their families.  As a bonus, the field of elder law is filled with people – lawyers and paralegals and health providers and social workers – who are caring and good.  So I have made great friends amongst my elder law colleagues.
One additional reward of being able to do work you love over a long period of time is that your colleagues may come to value your work. This can lead to awards and recognitions.
In this regard, I am pleased to note that I have been selected by US News Best Lawyers® as the Lawyer of the Year in Elder Law for 2014 for the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania metropolitan region. http://tinyurl.com/lfxwz4q. I am touched by this recognition of my work. 
In addition to my being chosen to be Lawyer of the Year in elder law for my geographical region my firm, Marshall, Parker and Weber has been selected as one of only eight tier one law firms in entire state of Pennsylvania in the field of elder law. http://tinyurl.com/kzjyeko. This is to the great credit of Matt Parker, Tammy Weber and the rest of the amazing professional staff at the firm.   
Here is how US News Best Lawyers® describes the Lawyer of the Year recognition.
Lawyer of the Year

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant.
Lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments we conduct with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.
Best Lawyers® began designating “Lawyers of the Year” in the U.S. in high-profile legal practice areas in 2009. Since then, we have extended this honor to many other countries where the Best Lawyers peer-review process is conducted as well.
We continue to believe — as we have believed for over 30 years — that recognition by one’s peers is the most meaningful form of praise in the legal profession. The Editors of Best Lawyers would like to congratulate all of the lawyers who have been selected as “Lawyers of the Year” for 2014.
For purposes of selecting a Lawyer of the Year, US News Best Lawyers® divides Pennsylvania into 4 metropolitan regions: Allentown, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. For 2014 a lawyer of the year in the field of elder law was selected for only two of the regions – Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. I was honored to receive award for the Central Pennsylvania (Harrisburg). My long-time friend and colleague, Julian Gray, was chosen for the Pittsburgh area.
Thank you, US News Best Lawyers® and thanks to all of the Pennsylvania lawyers who choose me for this honor. And thank you to all of the clients, staff, and colleagues who have supported me over my past 30 years of elder law practice. You have allowed me to live my passion.

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