From Passion to Profession, Judy Flynn’s Journey in Elder Law

Pictured: Judy Flynn at the podium during her acceptance speech as President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Judy Flynn’s journey to becoming a lawyer was unconventional. She dropped out of college after a year and started working at Boston University, around the time that she met her husband, Bill. After a few years, they married and had two daughters, Mackenzie and Christine. Judy became a stay-at-home mom, and was now more available to help with both her and Bill’s parents. Her mother-in-law had diabetes with every possible complication, and her father-in-law suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.

In Judy’s NAELA presidency acceptance speech, she reflected on how caring for her parents and in-laws helped her realize she had “a passion for learning and a passion for aging issues. I am sure many of you also found your way to elder law through family experiences.” This passion drove Judy to transfer her college credits to UMass-Boston to complete her undergraduate degree and pursue a career helping older adults and people with disabilities. Judy attributes much of her success to her family, “I can’t say enough about how supportive my family has been from the start… allowing me to pursue my passion, and helping me fulfill my potential.”

In 1996, fourteen years after she began, Judy received her undergraduate degree from UMass Boston, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the T. Scott Miyakawa Memorial Prize in Sociology. After UMass, she considered pursuing Gerontology, but Bill encouraged her to go to law school. She listened, and received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 2001, graduating cum laude and receiving the American Jurisprudence Award.

Judy’s career as an attorney spans over two decades, fueled by her passion for helping older adults and people with disabilities. She started as a contract attorney at a small elder law firm focusing on guardianships and MassHealth applications. In 2002, she was hired as an associate attorney with Bill Brisk, working on all aspects of elder law and probate litigation. Judy started her own firm in September 2004, servicing clients in elder and disability law and estate planning until joining Falco & Associates, P.C. in 2016.

Judy’s dedication to her craft has been recognized on several occasions. She has been designated as a Super Lawyer every year since 2013, a recognition given to the top 5% of attorneys nationwide. Judy is one of only about 30 Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in Massachusetts and was honored with the National Guardianship Association’s Outstanding Affiliate Member Award in 2010. She was also recognized as a “Top Woman of Law” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly for “inspiring contributions in fields including pro bono, social justice, advocacy, and business.” 

Judy is no stranger to NAELA, as she’s held many different roles over the years. She served on the Board of Directors of MassNAELA, including as Chapter President in 2014. Judy has received MassNAELA’s President’s Award twice (2013 and 2016) as well as MassNAELA’s 2022 Deborah H. Thompson Advocacy Award. In 2017, she was a co-chair of NAELA’s Annual Conference. For years, she served on NAELA’s State Advocacy Committee, connecting members and chapters across the country to advocate for the rights of older adults and people with disabilities. Judy has also served as NAELA’s Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President.

As President of NAELA, Judy is committed to maintaining the organization’s unique culture. She notes, “The fact that most of the OG, or original guard, is still involved speaks volumes about how unique NAELA is, and the reality is that once you experience NAELA’s uniqueness, you’re in. This long-lasting involvement is a testament to the organization’s supportive community. Judy believes thatbeyond the substantive benefits and expertise are the true friendships that have been forged along the way.NAELA is distinguished not just by its members’ expertise but by their commitment to community.

Reflecting on her time at Falco & Associates, P.C. Judy observed, “Firms like ours, that value a commitment to NAELA and other non-profit endeavors reap the benefits of professional growth and expertise in their attorneys and an enhanced passion for the work we do day in and day out, which benefits not just the firm, but the clients we serve.” Judy’s dedication to community building will continue to drive NAELA’s collaborative efforts and passion for their mission, benefiting all members and those they serve.

If you’d like to contact Judy or another member of our team, please contact us here or at (617)-472-3341. 

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