Updated: Feb. 27, 2024

Elder Law Section

The Elder Law Section seeks to inform members of the Washington State Bar Association of matters related to representation of older adults, recognizing that these individuals have unique legal needs and may be isolated, ill, or vulnerable to undue influence or exploitation. Issues commonly discussed relate to retirement and estate planning, powers of attorney, guardianship and conservatorship, substitute decision making, private and public long-term care, healthcare financing, and abuse of vulnerable adults.

The Section provides benefits to members through opportunities for education and consultation on issues relevant to elder law practice. Occasional seminars are complemented by the Section's active list serve—an ongoing conversation among members responding to questions and sharing insights. The Section also offers opportunities for serious exploration of systemic problems identified by members and for policy advocacy on issues relating to the administration of justice.

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See a list of Section Resources and Legal Opinions

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The Elder Law Section offers many resources and benefits for members. On this page you will find information about the section, their upcoming events and offerings, as well as information about the section's executive committee.

Upcoming Programs

Greenfield Elder Law Internship & Scholarship

Section Membership

Executive Committee & Meeting


Upcoming Programs

NEW In-Person & Webcast! 2024 Elder Law - Spring CLE

Register Now for In-Person or Webcast!

Presented in partnership with the WSBA Elder Law Section

Join us online or in person at the WSBA offices for the Spring Elder Law CLE. However you choose to join us, delve into essential topics with colleagues from around the state. Hear the annual legislative update, as well as about community and separate property in conservatorship proceedings, financial exploitation of the elderly, and recent RPC amendments.

When: April 5, 2024

Time: 8:55 a.m.–12:45 p.m. PDT

1.00 Ethics
2.50 Law & Legal Procedure

$124 - Elder Law Section Members (discount applied at checkout)
$159 - Standard/Non-Section Members
$159 - Join the Section [add the Related Items Elder Law Section membership ($35) to your cart during checkout and register at the discounted rate ($124)]

Emily Tyson-Shu, Tyson Shu Law, PLLC, Seattle, WA
Elizabeth Jennings, Stokes Lawrence, P.S., Seattle, WA

Miriam Ayoub, Graunke Ayoub Law, Seattle, WA
Carla Higginson, Higginson Beyer, P.S., Friday Harbor, WA
Lisa Malpass, James P. Spurgetis, P.S., Spokane, WA
Sandra Schilling, Washington State Bar Association, Seattle, WA

Register Online Now for In-Person or Webcast!

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Section Membership

Who Can Join?

Any active member of the WSBA may join the Elder Law Section at any time. Inactive members and non-members of the WSBA can join as subscribers. This affords professionals in the same field the opportunity to stay current about the law related activities in their field.

What is the Cost?

There are two categories of membership. If you are a member of the WSBA, you pay the lawyer membership fee, currently $35 per year. If you are not an attorney in the state of Washington, you may join as a subscriber, at the same $35-per-year rate. Subscribers receive the newsletters and notices of activities of the section, but they do not have voting status.

How Do I Join?

Join the WSBA Elder Law Section online or contact the WSBA Service Center at 800-945-9722 or 206-443-9722 or email questions@wsba.org

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Greenfield Elder Law Internship and Greenfield Elder Law Scholarship

Over his distinguished 40-year career, attorney Peter Greenfield worked tirelessly on behalf of thousands of seniors living in poverty in Washington. He was also an active member of the WSBA Elder Law Section and following his retirement from Columbia Legal Services in 2010, the Section established the Peter Greenfield Senior Advocacy Scholarship, now known as the Greenfield Elder Law Scholarship. The Greenfield Elder Law Scholarship provides for a summer internship (the "Greenfield Elder Law Internship") in elder law at Northwest Justice Project, a non-profit legal aid organization dedicated to serving very low-income and marginalized populations. Funds for the scholarship, given to a selected student from one of the three Washington law schools, come from Section member donations."


You can donate to the Scholarship online or by mail. Make checks payable to:

Washington State Bar Foundation
1325 Fourth Ave., Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98101

*Please note "Greenfield Elder Law Scholarship "or "GELS" on your check.

Thank you for your contribution!

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Executive Committee

Chair: Ronald St. Hilaire (2023-2024)  

Chair-elect: Nicholas Pleasants (2023-2024)

Immediate Past ChairSage Graves Slugic (2023-2024)

Secretary: Mark Vohr (2023-2024)

Treasurer: Matthew J. Parker (2023-2024)  

Young Lawyer Liaison*Kate Shreiner (2023-2025)

Board of Governors Liaison*Brent Williams-Ruth (2023-2024)

*Nonvoting member




At-Large Members:
Catherine Kardong (2023-2024)
Michael Longyear (2023-2024)
Patrick Erker (2023-2024)

CLE Co-chairs:
Emily Tyson-Shu (2022-2024)
Elizabeth Jennings (2023-2025)

Communications Co-chairs:
Carla Calogero (2023-2024)
Suzanne Thompson Wininger (2023-2024)

Legislative Co-chairs
Carla Higginson (2022-2024) 
Karen Boxx (2023-2025)

Grants Co-chairs*: TBD

Outreach/Mentorship Co-chairs*: TBD

The WSBA Elder Law Section Executive Committee generally conducts meetings on the third Tuesday of each month, from 12:30–1:30 p.m. via video conference. See event calendar for access information or contact a committee member for specific details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.

For general questions, please email inquiries to sections@wbsa.org. To get involved and learn more about the Elder Law Section, please contact Section Chair Ronald St. Hilaire.

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