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Law Office of James C. Siebert & Associates
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Assisting you with your legal needs with Integrity, Compassion, and Knowledge
Assisting you with your legal needs with Integrity, Compassion, and Knowledge

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At the recent Illinois Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys I was honored to be chosen by my peers as the 2016 recipient of the Ronald Runkle Award for Outstanding Contributions to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  This award is given annually in memoriam of Ronald Runkle an Elder Law Attorney known for his expertise and his willingness and generosity in sharing that with his fellow Attorneys and educating the community. I feel privileged to be chosen by my fellow Elder Law Attorneys as this year’s recipient of the Ronald Runkle Award.    
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On December 14, 2015, I had the honor of receiving the prestigious designation of CELA or Certified Elder Law Attorney issued by the National Elder Law Foundation became one of only twelve Attorneys in Illinois to hold that designation. The National Elder Law Foundation is the only national organization certifying practitioners of elder and special needs law. NELF's Certified Elder Law Attorney designation is itself certified by the American Bar Association. There are over 400 CELAs in 48 states. The purpose of the certification program is to identify those lawyers who have the enhanced knowledge, skills, experience, and proficiency to be properly identified to the public as certified elder law attorneys. The Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) certification has frequently been referred to as "the gold standard" for elder law and special needs practitioners. This reflects the hard work and proof required before an attorney can proudly proclaim that he or she holds the valued designation. It should be noted that the Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of any area of law and that the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois. However it is evidence that the CELA has extensive experience in Elder Law, passed a rigorous exam which only those with extensive experience can take and finally must be approved by his or her fellow Elder Law Attorneys as having the character, fitness and knowledge to be designated CELA.

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Do Parents of Small Children Need Estate Planning?
by Attorney James C. Siebert
Arlington Pediatrics News November 2013

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