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My name is VAL OHLSTROM and my practice focuses on elder law,
including consultation on all aspects of estate and disability planning,
Medicaid and long-term care planning, guardianship, and probate. I
have offices in North Seattle and on Mercer Island, as well as meeting
clients in their homes. I am a member of the WSBA, King County Bar
Association Elder Law section, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and the Washington Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
(WAELA), where I serve as a director and co-chair of the programming
committee. You can reach me at email@example.com or 425- 881-
5251, and my website is www.ohlstromlaw.com.
Why I became a lawyer: I love going to school, but was prevented from continuing my education right after undergraduate studies because my husband and I had a severely
disabled child. I began law school wanting to work with
families like mine, who have an adult child with disabilities; along the way I discovered elder law, and haven’t
looked back. I had a great time going to law school as a
Before law school I was active in family life and advocacy for
people with special needs and their families, including acting as founding president of the Lifetime Secure Personal
Assistance Network (LifeSPAN), a family-directed organization that works with families to plan for the future of
their loved one with disabilities. We also spent time at our
beach place and my husband and I sang in several choirs.
My greatest talent as a lawyer is analyzing the details and complexities of the goals, needs, and family dynamics of a senior’s legal issues, and creating a plan to meet such goals
The best advice I have for new lawyers is to attend WSBA and
county bar events, as well as networking with non-legal
professionals as appropriate to your field of practice. Establish relationships by showing interest in others and
always express your gratitude.
The most rewarding part of my job is succeeding in supporting
the needs and goals of my clients.
The worst part of my job is running the business.
A funny story that happened to me while practicing: I was walking
to the King County Courthouse on a beautiful sunny day
for my first hearing when I was pelted by a seagull. The
commissioner looked at me funny because the front of my
hair was wet, but said nothing.
During my free time, my husband and I cruise Lake Washington and Puget Sound in our Bayliner Cruiser and enjoy activities and celebrations with our three sons at the Queen
City Yacht Club. And of course in the fall, there is Husky
and Seahawks football. We often attend the former by boat.
My most memorable trip was in 2000, when we packed up our
two younger sons, flew to Baltimore, and rented a minivan.
We drove for three weeks, which included a family reunion
of 150 at Plymouth Plantation, a Fourth of July bonfire and
barbecue on Cape Cod, and seeing “Music Man” in New York City.
For every cultural event we dragged our sons to, we took them to an
amusement park, too.
If I took one day off in the middle of the week, I would spend it outside hiking or beach walking, followed by a nice dinner and bottle of wine
with family and/or friends.
I enjoy reading adventure stories and sci-fi.
My favorite places in the Pacific Northwest are the small towns on or near
the water, including Langley, Coupeville, and La Conner.
Nobody would ever suspect that I have sung and danced professionally.
Aside from my career, I am most proud of raising my family.
This is on my bucket list: more travel, including more boating, and seeing
more sights across the country.
My worst habits are chili-flavored Fritos and Manhattans.
My best habits are dark chocolate and exercise.
If I have to choose one favorite band, it would be Chicago. I also love musical theater.
My all-time favorite movies or TV shows: “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” and “A
Muppet Christmas Carol.”
My dream trip would be New England, including shows in New York
City, driving along the New England Coast, and lobster almost every
night for dinner.
My heroes are parents of special needs children of any age, and families supporting their aging parents.
Seattle University School of Law
WSBA No. 42943
the Bar No. Beyond