Jennifer Cona, Esq., elder law attorney and managing partner at Cona Elder Law, Melville, NY, was recently honored in the inaugural class of New York Law Journal’s 2016 Top Women in Law. Recognized as a renowned leader in the practice of elder law, Jennifer is the only Long Island based attorney of the 30 honored across New York State to receive this prestigious award.
According to Rebecca Baker, managing editor, New York Law Journal, “these outstanding attorneys, gathered with the help of recommendations from the legal community, are making strides to push the legal profession forward for women.”
As an advocate for the elderly, Jennifer boasts numerous accomplishments. Her challenge of Medicaid rulings has set precedent, sparing the elderly and their families responsibility for health care bills they could not afford resulting from state agency delay. She opened a caregiver resource center three years ago in the firm’s office to offer elder care resources and free legal help to senior citizens and their caregivers. Jennifer also publishes Your Guide to Elder Law and Estate Planning, now in its fourth edition.
Responding to the needs of elder-caregivers in the workplace, Jennifer launched an elder care employee benefits program for Long Island businesses. The benefits program gives working elder-caregivers the tools they need to navigate the elder care landscape while remaining present and productive at work. In addition, her annual Caregiver Conference supports and educates those caring for older adults.
“I am honored to be included in this group of forward-thinking, ground-breaking women attorneys who are raising the bar every day through their excellent advocacy in their respective fields,” says Jennifer.
This inaugural class includes women from nearly every sector of the law. Several run their own firms or work in large firms, where they have opened the door for women and minorities to succeed. They have contributed to the profession well beyond their workplace as volunteers on legal boards and committees, task forces and commissions. And nearly all have done so while balancing the demands of motherhood and family obligations.
In the NY Law Journal special report, not only did the honorees discuss their careers, but they also shared their thoughts on how to improve the profession for younger women and veteran practitioners.
One way Jennifer is helping women who work at Cona Elder Law is by embracing work/life balance. For example, she developed a generous and flexible paid time off and flexible return to work option post-maternity leave so women don’t have to choose between career and motherhood.
Not only does Jennifer help seniors in her community and young women in their careers, but she makes charitable giving and community outreach part of the fabric of her law firm. She and her employees volunteer at food banks and homeless shelters, and raise money for charities including the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Heart Association, the MS Society, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Jennifer also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Jennifer started her own not-for-profit organization Cona Elder Law Charitable Events to enhance the quality of life for the elderly and those in need. A key program is Senior Dreams Come True, which grants wishes to low income seniors on Long Island, from helping a senior meet basic needs to fulfilling a life-long dream.
A recipient of numerous awards, Jennifer has been acknowledged for her professional leadership and business acumen. She is rated a Super Lawyer by The New York Times and named a Top 10 Legal Eagle on Long Island. Recently, Jennifer was awarded the SmartCEO magazine’s Brava Award for high achievement female CEO’s in New York. She has received Long Island Business News’ Leadership In Law Award and has twice been named a Top 50 Most Influential Woman in Business.
Cona Elder Law is recognized as a leading elder law and estate planning firm on Long Island. The firm was ranked the #1 Elder Law firm by Long Island Business News for 4 consecutive years (2012 – 2015) and was a finalist in the 2015 HIA Business Achievement Awards. The firm provides creative advocacy and cutting edge planning strategies and has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Investor’s News Daily, USA Today, The Daily News, The New York Post, Kiplinger’s, Reader's Digest and many others. Cona Elder Law attorneys have appeared as guests on WNBC-TV, WABC-TV, CNN-fn, News 12, WLNY News 55 and many radio stations including WOR, WCBS AM, WBAB and WFAN.