A Shared Vision of Service
Ten years ago, Lori Leu had a vision. After practicing law for more than 20 years, and attending the SMU Perkins School of Theology, Lori felt a desire to use her law degree to serve the community. And so, Lori A. Leu & Associates, now Leu & Peirce, an Elder Law Practice devoted to serving seniors and their families, was born. Starting in 2008 on her own, Lori has grown the firm to 11 employees, all sharing her compassion to serve.
From the beginning, the overriding goal of Leu & Peirce has been to provide premium, compassionate, and dignified services to their clients. The five attorneys at Leu & Peirce, Lori Leu, Erin Peirce, Lauren Olson, Laura Chavero, and Brisha Gardner, are all members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and focus on serving our community of seniors by protecting and respecting their wishes, listening to the stories and values they convey, and making a positive impact on their lives so they can age with grace and dignity.
When you walk into the offices of Leu & Peirce, you are greeted by the smiling faces of Melanie Simmons, Rhonda Connolly, Lori Moore, Michaele Hayden, Michele Wolff, and Carol Butler. You can’t help but feel like you’ve stopped in to visit an old friend, rather than through the doors of a law office. But the cozy atmosphere and friendly conversation is only a small part of why clients feel comfortable bringing their family concerns and, in many cases, their crisis, to Leu & Peirce.
Elder Law was a little-known area of law when Lori opened the doors in 2008. Elder Law is first and foremost about empowering seniors. The legal services at Leu & Peirce help seniors and their families address issues of living arrangements, financial well-being, healthcare options, and the ultimate disposition of assets, enabling their clients to make their own choices and decisions about managing life as they age and face changes in their physical and mental abilities.
Leu & Peirce handles complex issues related Elder Law, including guardianships for people who have become incapacitated and can no longer care for or protect themselves, long-term care planning, estate planning to ensure proper documents are in place so seniors can have the assistance they may need in making financial and health care decisions, applications for public benefits, and assistance with probate administration after a loved one passes away. Many seniors find their options are limited by finances or family circumstances, but Leu & Peirce is committed to finding the best possible solution for all clients and their families, regardless of the situation. After consulting with the attorneys at Leu & Peirce, clients leave empowered with knowledge on public benefits, such as Medicaid, SSI, and Veteran’s benefits, as well as probate, guardianships, and estate planning.
Lori began practicing law in 1987 in her home state of Kansas, following her graduation from Kansas State University and Harvard Law School. Lori’s upbringing in Kansas has inspired the compassionate values of Leu & Peirce. Lori is honored to be one of the few attorneys in North Texas to carry the title of Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), a certification for attorneys who substantially focus their practice on Elder Law and special needs and pass a rigorous written examination.
In 2011, Erin joined Lori on her mission to serve seniors and discovered a renewed purpose in practicing law. Growing up in Klein, Texas, a Houston suburb, Erin is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University and the South Texas College of Law. Her experience as a litigator brings a unique perspective to the Elder Law practice, advocating in the courts for her client’s rights, and defending our aging population against abuse and exploitation. Erin’s strength lies in her ability to provide her clients with counsel that is both compassionate and effective, even in difficult and contentious situations. Erin joined Lori as a partner in 2015, and Lori A. Leu & Associates transitioned into Leu & Peirce, PLLC. Working together, Lori and Erin have turned Leu & Peirce into one of North Texas’ preeminent Elder Law firms.
Over the past five years, Lori and Erin have added three attorneys to the team, each focused on furthering Leu & Peirce’s mission of committed and compassionate service to seniors and their families. Lauren Olson, a Plano native and graduate of Saint Louis University and the SMU Dedman School of Law, joined the firm in 2013. Laura Chavero, also a graduate of the SMU Dedman School of Law and a Carrollton native, joined the firm in 2015. Leu & Peirce’s newest attorney, Brisha Gardner, began with the firm as a law clerk in 2016 and permanently joined the Leu & Peirce team as an attorney after graduating from Texas A&M University Law School in 2017.
From the beginning, Leu & Peirce’s primary mission has been to educate. Lori and Erin recognize the importance of community education, both to prepare adult children for the issues they will face when caring for aging parents, as well as to counteract the misinformation many seniors and their families are provided by self-proclaimed “experts,” who see the growing senior population as an easy target. Thus, the attorneys at Leu & Peirce welcome speaking opportunities to provide accurate and unbiased information to the community on powers of attorney, wills, trusts, public benefits, and guardianships. These speaking engagements further the mission of Leu & Peirce to educate families and help prevent exploitation of seniors. From senior centers to senior living communities, church groups, corporate informational gatherings and dementia support groups, the attorneys at Leu & Peirce seek to provide families the peace of mind that comes with the power of knowledge. Informing and empowering seniors and their families is an integral part of the firm’s vision of service.
Leu & Peirce is devoted to supporting causes in the community that are important to their clients. From the start, Leu & Peirce has participated in raising money for the Parkinson Voice Project and the Alzheimer’s Association, among other causes. Leu & Peirce is a long-time sponsor of the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and supports the mission of eliminating Alzheimer’s disease, by participating on the Alzheimer’s Speaker’s Bureau and hosting and participating in fund raising events throughout the year. This year, Leu & Peirce is proud to announce that Lori and Erin were honored to be selected as Co-Chairs for the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Grandscape (including Collin, Denton, and Grayson Counties), and Melanie Simmons was selected as the Chair of the Sponsorship Committee. Together, Lori, Erin, and Melanie will lead the Grandscape Walk as one of the largest and most successful Alzheimer’s Walks in the country. The Grandscape Walk will be held on September 29, 2018, in The Colony. Leu & Peirce encourages the community to participate in this effort to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. You can sign up a team at alz.org/greaterdallas/walk, or join the Leu & Peirce walk team, known as the “Leu & Peirce Wonder Walkers.”
Leu & Peirce is a proud supporter of the Wellness Center for Older Adults, which is located in Plano, and provides health, counseling, and social services for seniors throughout the Collin County area. Lori serves as the Chairman of the Board and the Leu & Peirce team participates in fundraising activities to support the services offered by the Wellness Center.
Due to the shifting demographics, the need for Elder Law advice is increasing. As the Baby Boomers age, an average of 10,000 people will turn 65 every day through the year 2029. Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.7 million Americans and kills more people each year than breast cancer and probate cancer combined. Every 65 seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and one out of three seniors dies from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Because Leu & Peirce primarily works with seniors and their families, they appreciate the myriad of financial and social decisions their clients face and have tailored their practice to focus on these specific needs.
Each member of the Leu & Peirce team has found her calling in serving North Texas seniors and their families, and is privileged to serve and help our population of elders as they age with peace of mind and dignity.
ELDER LAW FOR SENIOR ADULTS & THEIR FAMILIES
Leu & Peirce, PLLC