The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, a premier membership organization providing legal education and business support for attorneys nationwide, celebrates 20 years of revolutionizing the practice of law. The Academy’s focus is to provide its members with the support they need to offer cutting-edge legal solutions while making the estate planning process a relaxed, enjoyable, and positive experience for their clients.
The Academy was co-founded in 1993, by nationally respected attorneys and authors Robert Armstrong and Sanford M. Fisch, out of an aspiration to share their vision and systems with other attorneys and inspire them to look at the practice of law from an entirely different perspective.
The first attorney Boot Camp in 1993 captured the attention of entrepreneurial attorneys who were ready to innovate, not just the practice of law, but the business of law. The epiphany and renewed hope that the first attendees of the Boot Camp felt, inspired the launch of the American Academy. According to Sanford M. Fisch, “When Robert Armstrong and I started the Academy in 1993, we had a vision and a passion for helping other attorneys transform their law firms into thriving enterprises with deep meaning, not just for the attorneys, but for their staff, clients and their communities.”
Now, 20 years later, over 100 estate planning law firms from around the country gathered in Philadelphia, PA to celebrate this milestone anniversary at their annual Spring Summit. The 4-day conference kicked off with the Founders’ Message, “The Academy’s Reinvention: A Blueprint for the Next 20 Years.” In this message, Armstrong and Fisch shared their vision for the future and the new role every law firm will need to play to stay competitive in the ever changing landscape where technology has started to commoditize the legal industry.
Armstrong said, “I’m excited about how the Academy will be able to continue to innovate and help our members meet the evolving challenges of practicing law in the 21st century.”
This was followed by a keynote address titled, “The Lighthouse in the Storm: Our New Role in Turbulent Times,” given by speaker Frank Maselli, from the Maselli Group. The highlight of the event was the Academy’s 20th Anniversary Gala Reception, where they celebrated this milestone, not only for the Academy, but for the estate planning landscape nationwide. The conference also offered a variety of legal education sessions, on estate planning and elder law topics including Medicaid planning, asset protection and trust funding strategies, developments in estate tax law, and the use of trusts as beneficiaries of retirement plan benefits.
The education the Academy provides is only one of the benefits members receive. The holistic and innovative business model approach and training provided allows members to stay on the cutting-edge of the estate planning legal industry. Paul Kraft, from Frank & Kraft in Indianapolis, IN, expressed, “Over the last 20 years, the Academy has helped our practice tremendously by creating systems for marketing, business development, firm management, financial-related, hiring, IT solutions and practice management. The Academy has been invaluable and attending the first Boot Camp in March 1993, was the best decision we ever made!” The Academy continues to expand on the services they offer, which include Practice Management Systems, Business Coaching, Marketing Strategies and Tools, Legal Education, Document Creation and Database Software, and Law Firm Websites.
Since 1993, the Academy has been a highly-regarded and sought-after resource for attorneys and consumers alike. They have been recognized numerous times by Money Magazine, Consumer Reports, and by Suze Orman in her book, 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. In 2010, Academy founders Robert Armstrong and Sanford M. Fisch co-authored The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It with small business expert Michael Gerber. The E-Myth Attorney combines business development expertise with legal practice management system to bridge the gap between attorney and entrepreneur.
Director of Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555