MassNAELA Special Needs Advocacy Forum and October Dinner Meeting

Sign up to attend the first annual MassNAELA Special Needs Advocacy Forum, October 28, 2016 CLICK HERE TO REGISTER; Join us for the October 26, 2016 dinner meeting on Community MassHealth Benefits CLICK HERE FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION

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Welcome to the website of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (“NAELA”).

NAELA is a national association of lawyers who work with older clients, disabled clients of all ages, and their families. Established in 1987, NAELA provides its members a resource for education, information, networking and assistance with the many specialized issues involved with legal services for seniors and people with special needs. NAELA provides the general public information, advocacy on legislation affecting the elderly and those with special needs, and assistance in finding qualified attorneys who specialize in the legal needs of the elderly and those with special needs.

About MassNAELA

The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (MassNAELA) is a non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1992, to serve the legal profession and the public. Learn more >

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The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (MassNAELA) is a professional association of attorneys who are dedicated to improving the quality of legal services.  Join Today >

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MassNAELA affords its members many benefits including access to recent fair hearing decisions, cases of interest, helpful links, as well as the MassNAELA listserv.
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Margot G. Birke

Margot G. Birke

President MassNAELA 2016


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Do you have two to three hours a month for volunteer work? Are you interested in mentoring a less-experienced attorney? Please consider giving pro bono attorneys the benefit of your expertise!

 The Women’s Bar Foundation (WBF) is looking for experienced elder law practitioners to serve as mentors for a unique and longstanding pro bono initiative, the Elder Law Project (ELP). Additional details about this two-hour commitment are below. Please contact Kristy Nardone at or Elizabeth Yows-Johnson at for more information or to volunteer. Pro bono attorneys cite their positive experience with mentors as one of the greatest satisfactions in representing ELP clients!

The WBF, the charitable arm of the Women’s Bar Association, manages several pro bono projects, including the ELP. Through the ELP, pro bono attorneys draft simple end-of-life documents for low-income seniors. The ELP screening includes a confirmation of eligibility and a discussion of the benefits of preparing a will, health care proxy, power of attorney, and/or homestead declaration.  Each volunteer attorney agrees to take two cases within a year, and the ELP anticipates that he or she will spend fewer than ten pro bono hours on each case.

The backbone of the ELP is its mentorship program.  Each volunteer attorney is paired with an experienced practitioner who understands elders and has experience drafting end-of-life documents. Mentors agree to answer questions from their “mentee” as well as review documents if appropriate. Mentors never meet with clients—they serve as advisors and have the opportunity to guide a newer attorney through his or her first elder law case.  Mentors choose the number of ELP attorneys they wish to mentor, and it is anticipated that the mentor time commitment is fewer than two pro bono hours per mentee.

Please consider helping a new attorney serve a low-income senior who is grappling with end-of-life decisions.

ONGOING WORK ON THE PACE/ WAIVER BILL:  MassNAELA BILL H966; S580: Support of An Act To Preserve Eligibility for the PACE Program And Certain Waivered Services, Representative Benson, Senator Eldridge, H966; S58O. MassNAELA drafted this bill to enable more elders to qualify for MassHealth programs that provide care at home. With concerted advocacy by members and their clients, we believe this bill may pass the legislature. You can help by taking two steps:

1) Sign and send this sample letter directly to your legislator; and

2) Send or give this sample letter to those clients and family members whom you identify as benefiting from the passing of this bill:

Please ask your clients to sign the letter to the legislator and forward it directly to their senator and representative.

For a fact sheet and copy of the Bill: