Aug 11, 2015 - 12:15 PM
First, ask him or her whether Elder law is a majority of or one of many areas in which they practice. Lawyers generally can't call themselves "specialists" but they can limit their practice to an area like Elder law. I would go with someone who claims to spend at least 50% of their time in this area. Some states have designations as a specialty. This is helpful but not conclusive. In our state they are called CELAs, or certified elder law attorneys. Elder law is also a broad area so just because someone has a CELA designation, it doesn't mean they practice in all the areas you might need. Also ask around. Ask friends and senior centers and gerontologists and financial advisors who they recommend. Cream always rises to the top. Lastly, use a site like this and AVVO to find qualified attorneys. AVVO has independent reviews of attorneys in a wide range of practice areas.
I am concerned that you seem to have a distrust of attorneys. I hope your experience with a good Elder law attorney can change that.