What sets Archer Law Office, LLC apart from any other elder law firm in the region is its commitment not only to legal documents and complex planning when appropriate, but also to the practical and people-centered needs of its caregiver clients. The firm’s innovative Senior Living Resources staff guides families to find the best senior housing options for loved ones’ individual circumstances and challenges. They are also called upon to defuse high-conflict situations where caregivers and concerned family are unable to address issues themselves. With the firm’s multidisciplinary approach, families work together toward a solution that benefits their loved ones, saves the stress and expense of litigation, and avoids the unnecessarily inflexible model of some social workers.
It sounds simple for a law firm to supplement its services with a non-lawyer staffer with community resources, who can also “roll up their sleeves” and navigate common problems. However, this solution is simply without peer in New Jersey. A consulting firm or placement agency without law firm backing may have some community resources, but may be compensated by a third party (where a placement is made). The loyalty of such an organization is unclear at best. If the consulting firm is paid by the family, they may have community resources, but they cannot access the expertise that a law firm can offer, and will either ignore those issues or potentially practice law without a license.
Law firms fare no better, as most lack the ability to approach community resources without intimidating them. Firms who have tried to plan in crisis situations usually employ social workers, which are usually not cost-effective and lack the precision results our model can accomplish. Those without specialized staff are simply unable to handle the high-touch services that Archer Law Office can offer, and those that try will bill the services out hourly usually at rates for attorney time rather than staff time. Law firms with social workers, by the nature of the social work profession, employ a highly rigorous intellectualized approach involving psychology which risks overshadowing the practical issues in play. Their business models also rely on expensive annual contracts and discourage contact with attorneys to maximize revenue.
While all of these other companies have their place, and they may be able to help with less complicated or lower conflict issues, the Archer Law Office model is well equipped to handle even the most challenging family dynamic in a practical, no-nonsense, efficient way. The firm’s staff, including the Senior Living Resources, and legal staff, collaborate on a plan to stabilize crisis situations and implement long-range plans involving legal documents and governmental benefits. The firm works almost exclusively on fixed-fee billing, so that hourly billing is never a concern for clients. The result is that a family can return to being a family rather than simply a caregiver, and enjoy their time with their loved ones.