Jenny Rivard photo

Introducing June 2019 Member of the Month, Jenny Rivard

Jenny Rivard photo

Located in Manchester, New Hampshire and serving all of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, American Wealth Protection has been an LWP member since the fall of 2017.  Owner and Founder Jenny Rivard began her legal career at just 14 years old when she worked typing documents and answering phones for the estate planning law firm where her mother worked.  After several years at that firm, she knew that she wanted to become an estate planning and elder law attorney.  She avidly pursued her career, obtaining her undergraduate degree in just 3 years, and in 2009, became the second youngest person to have passed the bar in the state of New Hampshire.  After a brief stint at another firm, she created her own a year later, and went on to innovate by being the only firm in her market to include financial planning among her firm’s offerings, providing seamless service to her clients.  Today, Jenny and her husband, Patrick, who is also an attorney and plays a key business development role at AWP, are focused not only on growing their business but also parenting their four beautiful children.

LWP sat down with Jenny Rivard to talk about her firm and the changes it’s experienced since becoming a member. 

What brought you to LWP? 

About six years ago, I had a client who came to see me because she needed a plan.  She had Alzheimers and could no longer do math, but prior to this, she had been a physicist!  We prepared all the standard documents, but she needed more.  “Who will help with the day-to-day things, like bathing?  What checkbook should my son use when he needs to take over the finances?” were among her many concerns.  I realized that despite having a lot of tools, in order to provide a real plan, I needed more.  I decided to get involved with Medicaid planning, and when I searched online for training, I found LWP. 

I knew I needed the Medicaid software, so I attended Practice With Purpose, and I joined LWP right then.  I’ve been a platinum member for two years. 

How tightly do you follow LWP’s systems and processes?

My firm definitely speaks the LWP language, but we’re a unique firm, so despite my strong inclination to want to follow the systems as strictly as possible and not change the workflows, I realized that my firm simply didn’t fit perfectly in the category.  We wanted one system that could handle all of the services we offer, including financial planning and insurance, while keeping all the notes for every file together.  There are confidentiality issues that get quite complex with that, so, we’ve had to adapt LWP’s systems to fit. 

What is the greatest success you’ve had since you fully engaged with LWP?

We’re on the brink of doubling our revenue within about a year to 18 months, but even so, I’d say that the biggest success was being able to see the 10,000-foot view so we could see what was to come next.  Before LWP, I’d done pretty well on my own, but I was working in the business.  Since joining LWP, we’ve gone from being a one-person to a five-person firm.  That was due to the coaching—the ability to get to the next steps that I couldn’t have achieved on my own.  Hands down, for me, the most valuable part of LWP has been the coaching with Mandy and Candace.  They help us stay focused and spent a good deal of time helping us tweak the software to fit our model.

To what, specifically, do you attribute your revenue growth?

It’s the coaching…more so than anything else.  I was too “in it” to see the 10,000-foot view of what was to come next.  My LWP coaches got me out of that.  I don’t think I would’ve gotten to this place without that coaching.

What do you believe sets American Wealth Protection apart from your competition?

Our unique model sets us apart.  It’s the fact that we have the financial advisors on staff, and we do both legal and financial seminars.  While we do have clients that have their own advisors, often times, they’re in separate buildings and not always on the same page in regard to the client’s needs.  Our model offers a more integrated approach.  Also, our approach to financial planning is to plan for the worst-case scenario.  We assume the highest inflation and taxes, and from that, we figure out how long our clients’ income will last.  Once that scenario has been created, we see what’s left to protect, which takes us into estate planning.  I think our model is pretty unique right now, but people will probably migrate to it over time.  A lot of attorneys think they need to bring someone in house, but in my case, I had both the legal and the financial planning licenses. 

What is your marketing model?

I have over 2,000 clients I’ve gathered in the last 9 years, so we get a lot of client referrals.  Other than that, there are a few referrals from other places, and of course, we do the workshops.  We would like to start more traditional advertising, but we’re not doing it yet.  For now, we’re continuing to work on our infrastructure.

Do you attend LWP’s TAPER events, and if so, what wowed you there?

We attend one TAPER per year, and the IMQ (In Marriage QDRO®) presentation was amazing.  But, our firm’s TAPER “aha” moment is really just that it keeps us centered and moving in the same direction, and we really need that by October of each year.

What is your favorite LWP tool?  It’s a tie between the dashboard and the Medicaid software.  The dashboard is an easy way to see what happened all month—what we should have earned vs. what we actually collected.

What kinds of changes, if any, are you currently seeing in your market?

In our market, we’re seeing a trend among widows whose husbands had handled the finances.  They’ve suddenly found themselves in a situation in which they don’t know who to call.  There’s an unmet need there. 


Share something about yourself that most people don’t know about you.

I’m a “little old lady at heart.”  I really enjoy crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles.  I grew up on a farm, so now I can my own vegetables, and I love all kinds of outdoor activities, like fishing.

What is your favorite book, and how did it impact your life?

I love to read.  The book that taught me how to adapt my personality to that of the person with whom I’m speaking so we’re connected was Jeffrey Fox’s Rainmaker.  It has nothing to with law at all.  It’s super small, easy read, and the reason I could bring in business.  I found it when I was starting my own firm and googling every sales book I could to try to figure things out.



Newstad Photo

Congratulations to William Newstad, Lawyers With Purpose Member of The Month!

What is the greatest success you’ve had since joining LWP?  

Since joining LWP my greatest success has been being able to use the skills and tools obtained from LWP training to foster referrals from a number of other attorneys of estate planning and elder law clients.  I find these referrals as my most valued as it indicates the level of trust and experience that attorneys in my community have for my firm.  

Newstad PhotoWhat is your favorite LWP tool?

My favorite LWP tool is the whole focuser concept. From meeting to daily, they keep me on track and on top of what I need to accomplish and what I have accomplished!

How has being part of LWP impacted your team and your practice?  

I'm a solo with a small team.  Having LWP, as well as Actionstep, in our corner provides the support and resources that one would find only in a large firm. Having the LWP community as a sounding board for various questions on the ListServ as well as the weekly webinars affirms the cordial and knowledgeable community of which my firm is proud to be part of.

Share something about yourself that most people don’t know about you.  

I have been singing since I was 9 years old.  I've been a cantor in my church as well as the lead singer of local rock cover band. Recently I was in a local remake of the Broadway musical Big Fish and in December I will be reprising my role as Santa Claus in Staten Island's version of the Radio City Christmas Show. So…HO HO HO!!

What is your favorite book and how did it impact your life?

I am an avid reader of Science Fiction and Fantasy novels as I am a HUGE geek. In fact, I will be attending the New York City Comicon with my family this month, and yes we will be cosplaying as characters from Star Wars!  As far as a favorite book? It would be Joseph Campbell's, Hero with a Thousand Faces, which I first read in college. It tracks the mythology of the hero through many different cultures and was actually used by George Lucas to write the original Star Wars screenplay.  I like to think that we, as attorneys, and our teams are heroes as we help so many families plan for their future and protect their stuff for future generations. 

Mdd headshot

Congratulations to Matt Deliberato, Lawyers With Purpose Member of The Month!

What is the greatest success you’ve had since joining LWP?

How can you can measure the greatest when there are so many.  We decided as a team that by implementing the LWP systems and processes, we have grown as a firm and a team in ways that never would have been possible without LWP.  We didn’t know what we didn’t know!  The firm retreats are great for giving us focus and making us accountable to making Deliberato Law Center a superstar!

Mdd headshotWhat is your favorite LWP tool?

ActionStep, although it was a rough start, it is a great tool for all we do.

How has being part of LWP impacted your team and your practice? 

Having Molly as our team coach has been integral to organizing out team and making sure the right butts are in the right seats.

Share something about yourself that most people don’t know about you.

I used to be a radio DJ and was the front man of a band.

What is your favorite book and how did it impact your life?

So many to choose from.  How about one you probably haven’t read.  "Cancer on $5 Per Day (chemo not included)" by Robert Schimmel.  Robert is a comedian who received a diagnosis and gives an honest and raunchy account of what he went through.  Not much in life is really worth getting upset over.  Robert’s account on his tragedy is not only hilarious but really made me reconsider my outlook on what is important.  I know many of you have heard me say it, but everything in my life is now based on whether it occurred before or after my diagnosis.  I was given a new start in life and have taken advantage of it.  Definitely not an intellectual read, but good for a good belly laugh.

John Holden Picture

Congratulations to John Holden, Lawyers With Purpose Member of The Month

What is the greatest success you’ve had since joining LWP?

I have had the honor of assisting a Vietnam Veteran and his family in the design and implementation of an asset protection plan that protected and preserved approximately 420 acres of land, 60 head of cattle, oil and gas production as well as a headright. It was gratifying to devise a plan that met the client’s wishes and also enabled the veteran to qualify for VA Pension Benefits. I would not have had the confidence or the skill to competently assist this family without the training and software provided by LWP.

John Holden PictureWhat is your favorite tool?

So far, the LWPCCS templates. In addition, I have implemented the Risk Analysis Interview and have been able to use the Risk Analysis Letter and Funding Map to provide clients with a visualization of how to accomplish their stated goals of protecting most of their assets while positioning themselves for qualification for long term care assistance by means of either VA Pension Benefits or Medicaid. Further, the training videos for the various marketing workshops are helpful in the development of my marketing efforts.

How has being part of LWP impacted your team and your practice?

Evidently, I must be the “other one per cent”, since I have no team. However, the support I have received with respect to legal technical and marketing issues has been extraordinary. I am also grateful for the encouragement I have received to get out of my comfort zone and to actively engage in marketing to my surrounding communities.

Share something about yourself that most people don’t know about you?

I am blessed with two (2) great kids. My daughter, Marlowe, is an actor in New York. My son, Taylor, is an audio performance engineer and works for Clair Global.

What is your favorite book and how did it impact your life?

A friend gave me a copy of “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren at a particularly difficult point in my life. The book provided me with clarity and a path forward when I really needed it.



World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is certainly one we all wish did not require special attention on our calendars. Unfortunately, it does. Every year an estimated 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported. Elder abuse can take many forms: verbal, physical, financial. Today is the day we as advocates for the elderly can take a moment to remember a few steps we can take for our clients to discover and stop elder abuse.

Bigstock-Awareness-Ribbon--Purple-19635656First, we must listen to our clients. Clients are often brought into our office by their children or another family member. As part of our ethical practice, we should always take an opportunity to speak to our elderly clients alone, explain to them the confidential nature of our attorney-client relationship and allow them the opportunity to tell us any information they may not be comfortable disclosing in front of the person who brought them into the office. Affording our elderly clients the opportunity to confidentially trust in us can often bring feelings and issues to the table that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Second, we can recommend that caregivers find the necessary time to take care of themselves. Caregivers are full-time nurses, cooks, housekeepers, and sitters. Statistics show that a large percentage of elder physical abuse takes place because of caregivers feeling overwhelmed. We can gather information about caregiver support groups in our area and provide that list to the caregivers entering our office. Providing information and understanding to caregivers allows them to know that our offices are there for them when they reach a point where they feel they cannot continue on.

Third, we can monitor the trusts created for our clients as Trust Protectors. This is a wonderful way to use the LWP maintenance plans to benefit the clients we love. As Trust Protector we can assure that the assets our clients worked so hard for are being used as they intended and in a fashion that represents their best interests. When a trustee is abusing his or her authority, we can step in and protect the assets our clients have entrusted us to protect.

Finally, we can educate our communities. We can reach out to community groups and organizations and speak to them about the signs of elder abuse, the importance of caregivers’ own health and well-being, the standards Attorneys-in-fact and Trustees are held to, and what signs to look for in our loved ones who are being cared for outside of the home. We can arm clients and community members with the names of their local ombudsman and elder abuse agencies.

So today, I hope each of us takes the opportunity to think of one thing we can do to stop elder abuse. Wouldn’t it be nice if this was a day we never have to “celebrate” again?

If you want to learn more about becoming a Lawyers With Purpose member, click here and give us a little information about yourself. You will then be able to download the Membership Brochure.

Kimberly Brannon, Esq., Software and Legal-Technical Trainer – Lawyers With Purpose


The Longest Day

I was young when Granny T died. Granny T loved grilled cheese sandwiches, she loved porch swings, and she gave us grandkids MadLibs at Christmas. Granny T told me one time that she was the valedictorian of her high school class and that I was smart, just like her. Granny T had issues with her brain that were largely misdiagnosed and improperly treated. The night she died, the nursing home called and told my mother to come right away. She left immediately. She and her two sisters drove the hours it took to get to Granny as quickly as any child would after getting such a call.

But Granny T died alone in the nursing home at 66 years of age. None of her daughters made it to her in time. She was too far away from her family in a nursing home assigned by the state under the Medicaid program. It was one of the few times in life I saw my mother truly sad and broken.

LogoMy MeeMaw is still alive. She is 94. I introduced her to Taco Bell and the Gap, and she taught me the joy of soap operas and clipping coupons. MeeMaw regularly mailed me the most delicious homemade blackberry jelly when I was in college, much to the delight of all of my friends and dorm mates. MeeMaw always wrote notes with the jelly telling me that I could do anything that I put my mind to and that she was so proud to have a granddaughter with such a fine education. MeeMaw has diagnosed dementia, for which she is monitored by a geriatric physician. She forgets our names, she forgets we came to see her just minutes after we leave, and leaving her home environment is so disheveling and confusing for her that we don’t take her out any more.

There is no cure for dementia. MeeMaw will die from the physical ailments that come with it. She will likely pass not remembering where she is or how she got there. But MeeMaw is comfortable, clean, and close to her family.   She lives in a lovely assisted living, afforded through proper early planning, not far from any of her three children, four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. She will pass having led a much fuller life than Granny T, our memories of her will be stronger, and we will all make it there when the time comes.

Now you know my purpose story. It is the story of why I have practiced in Elder Law for 13 years. It is why I love helping attorneys across the country, through the best program on the market, to provide the most comfort possible to families in very difficult times. It is also why I am passionate and committed as an advocate and ambassador for the National Alzheimer’s Association. And, it is why I would like to ask each of you as legal advocates for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia to join the Lawyers with Purpose team in the fight to find a cure. June 20, 2016 is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. We will honor those family members, friends and clients who have joined us for planned events at the Practice With Purpose retreat and at firms across the country. We ask that each of you consider joining our team, either in person or virtually, as the LWP elder law community shows our support of our personal communities.

We hope you, and your firm, may join our team during the Tri-Annual Practice Enhancement Retreat on June 20th.  We'll be participating live from the event, and hope you can join us, if not, please join our group virtually at  Throw on your purple shirt, send us pictures to post – and help raise awareness!

If you haven't registered for the Tri-Annual Practice Enhancement Retreat, grab your seat before early bird pricing ends May 13th:

Together we can help find a cure and improve the lives of millions of families.      

Kimberly M. Brannon, Esq., Legal Technical & Software Trainer for Lawyers With Purpose

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Congratulations to Norman Sabin, Lawyers With Purpose Member of The Month

What is the greatest success you’ve had since joining LWP?

Implementing the LWP processes into the firm’s operations, allowing us to standardize the processes and production of quality estate plans while facilitating communication with the firm members.

Photo - FirmWhat is your favorite LWP tool?

The Medicaid portion of LWP-CCS, wherein I can show clients Value Proposition of Asset Protection planning using their own financial situation. In addition, the use of ActionStep provides one-stop access to all firm operations, including client management, marketing activities and successes, and revenue tracking.

How has being part of LWP impacted your team and your practice?

LWP’s systems allow us to truly work as a team, supporting each other while ensuring that we can produce quality documents in a timely and efficient manner.

Share something about yourself that most people don’t know about you.

Prior to attending law school in the early 90’s I was employed in the data processing industry with IBM, Control Data Corporation and Storage Technology. I also flew C141s in the Air Force Reserves and spend about 4 years flying for World Airways before attending law school at Regent University.

What is your favorite book and how did it impact your life?

The Bible – it is truly the manual for living life to the fullest.


Congratulations to Debra Robinson, Lawyers With Purpose Member of The Month

Greatest success since joining LWP:

For many years I was in practice with a series of different partners.  When I finally broke free and went on my own, I was searching for new and better ways to run my practice.  Molly Hall reached out to me at just the right time, and I believed LWP was a perfect fit for my needs.  Within a few months, I increased my fees, made a scheduling template and stopped interrupting my work flow to answer client calls, and became a much more efficient practitioner.

MOTMFavorite LWP tool: 

My team and I are gearing up to start having workshops.  We moved to new offices in January, with a large enough room to hold workshops in-house.  We have watched Dave’s videos together several times, and are in the process of editing and printing all the wonderful material made available by LWP.  Now all I have to do is learn to tell the jokes.

Impact on my team and my practice:

We are having more frequent staff meetings, I’m sharing more educational material with my team because I realized the more they understand, the more they can take on.  We made a list of everything that needed to be done to start having workshops, and everyone pitched in and did even more than I expected

Share something about yourself that most people don’t know about you:

Most people don’t know that my mother was inspirational in how I interact with my elderly clients.  My mother met the love of her life when she was 84 and he was 87.  They had three wonderful years together before his health failed.  They were head over heels in love, and a joy to watch.  I learned from them that no matter what your age, life can still bring wonderful surprises if you are open to taking chances.   

What is your favorite book and how did it impact your life? 

Little Women – I read it as a teenager and it made me want to be a writer like Jo – Maybe someday.



In Defense of My Smartphone – By a Generation Xer

On the second day of the Lawyers with Purpose Tri-Annual Practice Enhancement Retreat in Orlando, there was a focus session on the Infrastructure Track called “Bridging the Generation Gap,” presented by Susan Hunter. My presence there was mandatory, as I had been assigned to administrative duties as an employee of Lawyers with Purpose. However, it was also my treat, because I am a big fan of Susan’s presentations and knew I was in for an informative and humorous session – and I was right. Susan talked about the three generations that make up her law firm team: The Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials. She also explored the challenges and opportunities that may occur when working with someone not from your own generation, as well as the growth mindset needed to bridge this gap.

Bigstock-Apple-Iphone-With-Blank-Screen-29625881Among the various characteristics of the Millennials noted was their hyper-ease with technology, especially social media, predominantly via smartphones. It was cited that 98% of Millennials have a smartphone. And it is the smartphone that is usually blamed for promoting isolation and the decrease in face-to-face interactions in real time – not FaceTime. But, in defense of my smartphone, I found that I related more to the Millennials who work in our firm during this trip because of it than I think I would have otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, there was also plenty of good, old-fashioned team building in the form of conversations, brainstorming, card and board games, as well as one night with a home-cooked meal prepared by team members. However, I must confess that our smartphones did play an important part in bringing us together as a team.

My use – excuse me – our use of the smartphone during our road trip from Atlanta to Orlando as well as during the retreat was interactive. First and foremost, we used it to get information like researching recommended places to eat along I-75 or finding the cheapest gas when it was time to refuel. We also used the mapping capabilities of the smartphone extensively to direct us on our route, avoid traffic, and keep us up to date on our ETA despite the pit stops. Then there is what may be the default use of the smartphone: communication. Our firm stayed at a timeshare condo a few minutes from the hotel where the retreat occurred, and this required some coordination to accommodate the needs of all nine team members. We relied on text messages and calls to remain in contact and synchronize needed rides. During the road trip, we would also send regular text messages to Victoria, our supervisor, to give her status updates on our arrival both to Orlando and Atlanta.

Another way we communicated via smartphone was by sharing photos the team took. This included sharing funny pictures of Goofy and the team at the reception, but they also served to document our team’s work at the retreat, like the photo we shared of our completed, collaborative Brainstorming Sprints sheet. Lawyers with Purpose even provided a smartphone app called EventBoard for the retreat and the Practice with Purpose program. The app provides an interactive conference event guide with the schedule, speaker information, sponsors and their websites, floor plans, and online evaluation forms. I really like how the events grayed out on the schedule as the day went on so you could immediately see the highlighted current and upcoming sessions. Sure, there were technical difficulties. When I first opened the application, no details loaded for the sessions and the evaluation forms were blank. However, once I closed the other 20 apps that I was unconsciously, simultaneously running on my iPhone, EventBoard worked quite well.

I will confess that my first sight of some of the Millennials in our firm on any given morning during the retreat was in bed by the light of a smartphone furiously typing. Perhaps they were well on their way to the 50 or more text messages that 50% of Millennials surveyed will send in a day. But I can’t blame them, as the first thing I did every night and every morning while away was to text my family to say “Hi.”

Finally, we used our smartphones to play music enjoyed by the team as a whole. We took turns depending on who had a particular song we wanted to hear. No one had brought a portable speaker, and the van’s stereo system had no speakers in the passenger area, thus we had to improvise with one of those pairs of giant headphones that Millennials often sport to broadcast the music for all to hear. As a result, the music was a little tinny and not as loud as I would have liked. Nonetheless, it relieved the monotony of the road trip as we sang, hummed, and/or danced to music from all three generations and, more importantly I think, moved in harmony as a great team should.

If you want to learn more about Lawyers With Purpose and in particular what it takes to have a successful practice, click here and download our FREE eBook "The Five Essential Roles for A Successful Practice".  

Here Is Just Some of What We'll Reveal:

  • Discover the Five Key Roles that must be fulfilled to truly have a successful law firm.
  • What you need at all five levels.
  • How each role impacts the organization and its ability to perform.
  • How each role interacts to achieve ultimate success.
  • The bottom line of what you need to create a purposeful practice
  • … and so much more!

By Sabrina A. Scott, Paralegal, The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC and Director of VA Services for Lawyers With Purpose.

Victoria L. Collier, Veteran of the United States Air Force, 1989-1995 and United States Army Reserves, 2001-2004. Victoria is a Certified Elder Law Attorney through the National Elder Law Foundation; Author of “47 Secret Veterans Benefits for Seniors”; Author of “Paying for Long Term Care: Financial Help for Wartime Veterans: The VA Aid & Attendance Benefit”; Founder of The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC; Co-Founder of Lawyers with Purpose; and Co-Founder of Veterans Advocate Group of America.