Membership with NAELA

When you join NAELA, you become a member of the premier provider of legal advocacy, guidance and services to Elder Law and Special Needs Legal community. Some of the issues NAELA members assist their clients with include, but are not limited to: probate and estate planning, guardianship/conservatorship, public benefits, and health and long term care planning. NAELA membership is comprised of attorneys in the private and public sectors who deal with legal issues affecting the elderly and disabled. Members also include judges, professors of law, and students.  Contact NAELA at or 703/942-5711 xt. 222.

The Benefits of NAELA Membership

NAELA Publications

NAELA membership includes complementary subscriptions to NAELA News and NAELA Journal. NAELA News is a vibrant bi-monthly magazine that focuses on providing up to date information on current Elder Law and Special Needs Law topics, NAELA events, and NAELA State Chapter and Section events and activities. NAELA Journal is published twice a year and contains substantive articles covering a wide range of Elder Law and Special Needs Law topics from Medicaid to mental health law. Both publications are available only to NAELA members and select libraries.


Because networking plays such a critical role in the continuing education of members, NAELA offers its members complimentary membership to NAELA’s National Listserv. The Listserv provides members with a forum for discussions on substantive issues as well as practice management and development issues. By posting inquiries and comments on the Listserv members are able to receive immediate feedback from hundreds of other members throughout the country.

Topical Sections

Upon joining NAELA, you have the opportunity to participate in nine distinctive Sections; Advocacy/Litigation, Guardianship/Capacity, Health Care, Practice Development/Practice Management, Special Needs Law, Tax, Trusts and Special Needs Trusts, Benefits and Financing, and Young/New Attorneys. Section members may access member contributed articles, cases, newsletters and publications. Section members are also expected to share articles or other documents with fellow Section members as appropriate. Each Section hosts dedicated forums and listservs to promote real time communication between members. Bi-annual Section newsletters keep members up to date in their specific fields of interests. NAELA Sections also sponsor virtual meetings and the publication of topical brochures for use in members’ practices.

Live and Virtual Education Opportunities

NAELA is a cutting edge provider of Elder Law and Special Needs Law continuing legal education. NAELA sponsors an annual symposium and an annual advanced institute. Both programs offer practitioners current information on a litany of Elder Law and Special Needs Law topics. NAELA also sponsors an annual Un-Program. The Un-Program is an unstructured meeting that provides members opportunities to spend time with each other brainstorming issues affecting their practices in small, focused discussion groups. In addition to live meetings NAELA holds a number of virtual meetings throughout the year. Continuing Legal Education Credits (CLEs) are available for many live and virtual meetings.

Mentoring Program

NAELA’s Mentoring Program offers members a network of practitioners always willing to discuss an issue or help think through a dilemma with another NAELA member. The foundation of NAELA’s Mentoring Program lies in the collegial spirit that has existed within the membership since the inception of the association. The panel of NAELA mentors is designed to provide guidance to NAELA members who have not had extensive experience in handling Elder Law and Special Needs Law matters. NAELA’s Mentoring Program is administered through NAELA’s state chapters in conjunction with state bar Elder Law sections. The panel format of the program ensures that more than one mentor can assist NAELA members in a particular field of practice.

Public Policy/Advocacy

NAELA’s Public Policy Committee keeps the membership abreast of ever-changing federal and state legislation related to Elder law and Special Needs Law. Copies of legislation, sample letters to representatives and senators, updates on public policy activities, and other tools to influence legislation affecting the elderly and disabled are circulated to the membership on an as needed basis.

Member Benefit Program

NAELA has developed partnerships with companies that participate in group-purchasing programs that afford discounts to NAELA members on a wide variety of products and services including estate planning systems, document storage and retrieval, office supplies and equipment and much more. These offers are available exclusively to NAELA members.

National Elder Law Month

NAELA has designated the month of May as “National Elder Law Month.” National Elder Law Month benefits NAELA member communities and clients. Whether you organize a seminar in your local senior center, write an article for your local newspaper or provide pro-bono services, National Elder Law Month provides another opportunity for NAELA members to be the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of seniors and people with disabilities. A National Elder Law Month Toolkit containing everything from sample presentations to sample public service announcements are made available to NAELA members.

Other NAELA members benefits include:

  • Access to a free copy of the NAELA Membership Directory
  • Free access to the Online Library with forms and documents available for download
  • Discounted fee for NAELA meetings and events
  • Knowledge sharing and networking opportunities through the NAELA My Communities area of the NAELA website
  • Discounted NAELA Webinars – a range of professional development topics
  • Job search capabilities using NAELA’s CareerCenter

Criteria for Membership

  • Membership is open to attorneys and all those who possess a juris doctorate or equivalent degree and are licensed or authorized to practice law under the jurisdiction of any country.
  • The attorney renders legal services for the benefit of the elderly and people with disabilities or is in an endeavor which encompasses the legal needs of the elderly and people with disabilities.
  • The attorney has an understanding of the aging process and sensitivity to the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities.
  • The attorney is committed to the highest standards of ethics in representing the needs or promoting the welfare of the elderly and people with disabilities.
  • The attorney has a working knowledge of the aging network and those services available through other agencies which benefit the elderly, or wishes to gain such knowledge.
  • The attorney has a commitment to positive involvement in the work of the Academy and its purposes.
  • The attorney, as a condition of membership, pledges to support the Academy’s Aspirational Standards for the Practice of Elder Law.

NAELA State Chapters

Members of NAELA are eligible to join the chapter of their choice. National NAELA membership is a requirement for state chapter membership. Please visit our chapter page to view chapter presidents and dues amount. As a chapter member you are eligible to participate on your chapter’s member listserv and utlize other community tools.

NAELA’s state chapters sponsor continuing legal education programs, publish newsletters and maintain internet-based databases and libraries. NAELA’s innovative state chapters lead grassroots efforts in advocating for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Chapter officers distribute copies of legislation, sample letters to representatives and senators, as well as consistent public policy updates on an as needed basis. Chapter membership offers promotional opportunities via public access, state-specific membership directories. Leadership opportunities are available to members willing to serve on Chapter committees or serve as a Chapter officer or president.

NAELA Sections

Once you join NAELA, you have the opportunity to participate in nine distinctive Sections, providing information and networking capabilities specific to your practice and areas of interest. NAELA currently has Sections in the following areas: Advocacy/Litigation, Guardianship/Capacity, Health Care, Practice Development/Practice Management, Special Needs Law, Tax, Trusts and Special Needs Trusts, Benefits and Financing, and Young/ New Attorneys. For a minimal yearly fee, you will receive articles, cases, newsletters and other publications related to the specific topic of your chosen Section. In addition section members have access to substantive networking tools including listserv, section libraries and collaborative tools.