Ten Years of Personal Fulfillment

By: Jerold E. Rothkoff

February 2010 will mark the ten-year anniversary of the Law Offices of Jerold E. Rothkoff. I could not have imagined, on February 1, 2000, where the law firm and myself would be professionally today. The Rothkoff Quarterly has and continues to be an outlet to express my thoughts and desires, specifically related to caring for loved ones with chronic illnesses. I have attempted to write about real life events that people can relate to. During the ten-year period, I have written about, among other topics, caring for our disabled dog, the death of my father and grandmother, multiple articles on caring for a loved one, and of course, baseball, particularly related to using baseball as a means to unite the generations.

Our daughters, Liza and Julia, were born in 1998. As a means to support my family while my wife stayed home with our newborn twin daughters, I explored the potential of opening my own law office. Given the previous experience with my grandmother (see Fall 2009 newsletter), as well as the ever-increasing age of our population, I thought Elder Law was an area that was ripe for growth.

However, at first, the thought of opening my own office was simply a means of putting food on the table for our growing family. Unexpectedly, it has turned into my calling.

In early 1999, I attended an Elder Law conference in Philadelphia. Within the first two hours at the conference, I became energized in a way that had eluded me in my first years in the practice of law. I knew back then that there was something about this field of Elder Law that would fulfill me in ways which I never could have imagined when I went to law school and set out upon my journey to become a lawyer. Two hours at the conference changed my life.

For the first time, I had become a problem-solver, and it felt good. It still feels good today. We are privileged to get the opportunity to guide families in a time of crisis in order to get the best care possible while determining how to pay for expensive care. It is a responsibility that we take quite seriously.

Of course, like any business, we have had to evolve and change to adapt to the marketplace and client’s needs. In 2005, our firm adopted the “Life Care Planning” practice model by incorporating social work to assist families in advocacy for their loved ones. Life Care Planning has enabled us to truly provide “holistic” services that our clients need and deserve.

Most importantly, I could not have grown professionally and personally by myself. I have learned that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and I have had fantastic people by my side on this wondrous journey.
To our staff—Janie, Stephanie, Joanne, Yona, Jennifer, Elizabeth, Jane, Rita, Lori, Susan, and Lois— thank you for everything you have done, and your commitment to seniors and those with disabilities.

Thank you to my family— my wife, Erica, and children, Liza, Julia, Evan, and Gregory (and number five due in June 2010)— who always have encouraged me to be the best I can be, as well as get me back on course when I sometimes veer in the wrong direction.

Lastly, a huge thank you to our referral sources, clients, and their families whom we have had the opportunity to work with. It has been an honor and privilege assisting seniors, the disabled, and their families. I look forward to many more years together.

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