Welcome to the inaugural post of “Your Life and the Law,” the blog of Otter Creek Law, PLLC.
Shortly after we opened, a friend of mine asked, “So, what’s your elevator speech? What do you do?” I’ll admit, this is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Another question I get all the time is, “What kind of law do you practice?” Yet a third, most often asked by marketing salespeople, is, “Who is your ideal client?” (My tongue-in-cheek answer: “Anyone!”)
What do you do? Maybe you’re a plumber, a convenience-store clerk, a lineman, an accountant, a doctor, a minister. Most jobs don’t require an elevator pitch – or any pitch – for the interlocutor to understand the nature of the business. But, say “I’m a lawyer,” and one of a handful of reactions ensues:
- a blank stare, perhaps accompanied by an “Oh,” followed by an escape attempt;
- “Oh! I have a question, maybe you can answer…”; or,
- “What kind of law do you practice?”
The third question often leads to an actual conversation. I enjoy listening to people’s stories. Even when the story is one of strife and woe, the teller is often relieved to hear that their experience is not unique and to find that someone is genuinely interested.
I became a lawyer because I am genuinely interested in helping people solve problems. Some problems, the law can solve. Sometimes, the law doesn’t provide a good solution – or any at all (more on that in a future post), but a sympathetic and confidential listener may help achieve resolution.
At Otter Creek Law, we focus on elder law, special-needs planning, and property issues.
Elder Law & Special Needs
Elder law and special needs planning includes helping such persons and their families with planning for incapacity and long-term care, Medicaid and Medicare coverage (including coverage of nursing home and home care), health and long-term care insurance, and health care decision-making. It also includes drafting of special needs and other trusts, the selection of long-term care providers, home care and nursing home problem solving, retiree health and income benefits, retirement housing, and fiduciary services or representation.
I couldn’t have said it better myself, though I will elaborate in future posts. Click to learn more about our elder law and special-needs planning services.
Property law may be easily defined, but as a practice area is a little more difficult to pin down.
As native Vermonter and U.S. President Calvin Coolidge once wrote, “Ultimately, property rights and personal rights are the same thing.” In his inaugural address, he elaborated: “We need not concern ourselves much about the rights of property if we will faithfully observe the rights of persons. . . . It is not property but the right to hold property, both great and small, which our Constitution guarantees.”
In my struggles to develop an elevator speech, I’ve realized that definitions and lofty philosophical ideas are easily quoted but leave the listener dumbfounded. “Yes, okay, but what do you do, exactly?”
Our property law services include real estate, land use and Act 250, landlord/tenant, and intellectual property (trademarks and copyrights). We can also help you open, grow, pass on, or close a business, or deal with an estate, a divorce, government takings, or partition of property. In other words, we help you secure your rights to the things you hold dear.
In the end, I may never come up with the perfect 45-second explanation of all the property issues we can help people solve, but perhaps it is this:
If you want to buy, sell, pass on, divide, or protect your property, we can help.