National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Names Bridget O’Brien Swartz, JD, MPA, as President of its National Board of Directors
TUCSON, AZ – July 11, 2023 – The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to equipping attorneys for the complexity of serving older adults, people with disabilities, and their families, has named Mission Management & Trust Co. Vice President and Fiduciary Counsel Bridget O’Brien Swartz, JD, MPA, as the President of its 2023–2024 Board of Directors following more than 25 years of practice in special needs law.
As President, Ms. Swartz joins 15 additional national leaders who provide volunteer service, leadership and mentoring, and subject-matter expertise to an organization devoted to its attorney members practicing elder or special needs law. Based in the Washington, D.C., metro area, NAELA represents more than 4,000 attorneys nationwide who participate in its continuing education, advocacy, and community initiatives. First founded in 1987, NAELA attorneys work with people who want to plan for quality of life when confronted with disability and as they age. For many, this includes the preparation of legal documents such as advance care directives, estate planning, or medical decision-making instruments that provide individuals and their families peace of mind and help avoid family conflict.
“One of the incredible things about the elder and special needs law community is the chance to make a real difference in the lives of others,” said Ms. Swartz, who is also a member of the Special Needs Alliance and a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). “I am honored to work with other distinguished leaders in our community to help attorneys prepare for the challenges facing older adults and people with disabilities.”
In addition to offering peer-to-peer learning and traditional continuing education, NAELA sets a high ethical bar for its membership. The Aspirational Standards for the Practice of Elder and Special Needs Law, established in 2013, provide model ethics rules to guide attorneys working with people with disabilities such as dementia or cognitive impairment and with older adults. NAELA members appointed to its national board are selected through a peer-review process, where a committee of NAELA volunteers evaluates their service, accolades, and leadership in the elder and special needs law community.
“Bridget has been a long-time, national leader in the special needs law community. Combined with her educational and professional experience in social and fiduciary work, Bridget brings an interdisciplinary lens to NAELA’s work that is critical in a rapidly changing marketplace,” said C. Grace Whiting, JD, Chief Executive Officer of NAELA. “We’ve been honored to have Bridget’s insights as a frequent presenter for our continuing education program, an active member of our State Advocacy Committee, and a dedicated volunteer member of the Board of Directors. Her willingness to collaborate and find consensus among varying viewpoints will be an asset as NAELA continues to diversify its membership in the coming years.”
About Mission Management & Trust Co.
Mission Management & Trust Co. (Mission Trust), based in Tucson, Ariz., is an Arizona-chartered, independent trust company specializing in trust and estate services, asset management, and securities custody. Established in 1994, Mission Trust was acquired by Notre Dame Federal Credit Union (Notre Dame FCU) in February 2022 to complement and augment its array of online, retail, and mobile banking and financial services. Visit MissionTrust.com to learn more.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is the only national association of attorneys that conditions membership on a commitment to the Aspirational Standards for the Practice of Elder and Special Needs Law. Understanding that older adults and people with disabilities need holistic, person-centered legal services, NAELA’s 4,000 members represent the diversity of practice. With a network including lawyers, judges, legal professors, law students, and others, we work to advance the dignity and independence of older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. Learn more at www.NAELA.org.
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