This week’s podcast takes a look at the practice of estate and trust law. We’ll hear from experts Jeff Forer, attorney at Hinojosa & Wallet LLP; Robert Mucklestone, attorney at Perkins Coie LLP; and Brian Starr, attorney at Starr Law Firm, PLC.
Jeff Forer tells us the practice of estate and trust law focuses on the wills and estates of both living and deceased individuals. He emphasizes that understanding the concepts of income and estate taxes are extremely important for estate attorneys. Forer underscores the importance of doing externships, donating time to learn the practice, and reading materials within the specialty, and says that doing these things will increase your knowledge of and comfort within the field.
Robert Mucklestone explains that students interested in estate and trust law should be aware that there are not many people that fall within the range of a “true estate,” which means that a large client base will likely not be available. Mucklestone underscores the importance of understanding federal estate and gift taxes due to their importance in the field.
Brian Starr begins by saying that his “break” into the estate and trust law industry was a clerkship he did that taught him the ways of the law practice. He believes, as does Forer, that internships and volunteer opportunities are the best way for students to come into this law practice. Starr also explains the importance of building great relationships with your clients, stating that most wills and estates clients will only feel comfortable divulging sensitive financial information to someone they trust. In conclusion, he advises students to begin by working for free and becoming certain that this is the type of law they want to practice before getting too involved.