ELA Attorney Recognized For Work
For victims of elder abuse, the golden years are dark. According to Sharon Lee, most instances go virtually undetected.
“In 90 percent of the elder abuse cases, the abuse is perpetuated by a family member, a friend or someone who the client loved or trusted,” says Lee. “The client is put in a difficult situation where someone they care about is doing them wrong.”
After working for a law student during her undergraduate years, Lee was inspired to pursue law herself. She received a law degree from the University of San Diego, and has been working as an attorney at Elder Law & Advocacy in San Diego since 2010. She dabbles in about 20 different areas of law, ranging from social security to property law, as she provides counseling to senior citizens.
“A big component of what we do is physical, emotional and financial,” says Lee. “Some of the clients have been scammed by family members, and there are also situations where the client is being scammed by strangers.”
Lee also works for Seniors First, an initiative that advocates on behalf of senior citizens at the legislative level. Currently, she’s working to get the Older Americans Act, which provides services like transportation and meals to senior citizens, funded again.
For Lee, her work with senior citizens provides a mutually beneficial relationship that makes the job rewarding.
“I learn from them as much as they learn from me,” Lee says of her clients. “I also put myself in that position. When I reach that age, I’d want someone to care about me too.”
— Mina Nilchian, ’14