FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUBJECT: Columbus lawyer helps clients plan for the future
Contact: Kenneth Brown – 800-282-6556 or 614-487-4426
Columbus (Sept. 5, 2003) - Between running a solo legal practice, working to improve legal documents, and learning ju jitsu, attorney Alan Acker keeps himself busy. But he enjoys his work, especially when he is able to help a client through a difficult time.
Of his work as an attorney Acker said, “The most important and rewarding part is helping people, as trite as that may sound. I do not believe that is unique to me; most attorneys take [their work] seriously and get the most reward from helping clients in all sorts of ways.”
He spent his undergraduate years studying accounting at the University of Illinois. With his father’s encouragement, Acker decided to continue his education in law school. After graduating from Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago and passing the bar exam, Acker began practicing law. Early in his career, he was associated with several firms across the country. He worked in Chicago and Norfolk, Virginia before settling in Columbus. Later, Acker tried private practice. “I decided I wanted to be in more control of my life,” he said.
The transition from a firm to a private practice provided advantages as well as disadvantages. While he was glad to say goodbye to office politics, and to be able to set his own fees and schedule and control his priorities, he encountered a new set of challenges. With no other employees in the office, Acker found himself doing all administrative tasks himself, from filing papers to fixing the printer. Of solo practice he said, “When you’re not working you’re unemployed, that is, you alone are responsible for getting work, completing it, and getting paid.”
In 2001, Acker’s estate planning experience and expertise led him to represent the Ohio State Bar Association’s Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section as chair of a committee charged with revising living will and health care power of attorney forms (“advance directives”). Their revisions took into account changing Ohio law and were aimed at making the documents more useful for Ohioans.
Advance directives allow adults to dictate the type medical treatment they will receive if they are terminally ill or otherwise unable to express their own wishes about care. Acker said the older versions of the documents were not legally flawed, but that the committee wanted to make the language more complete and easier for the average citizen to understand.
Acker also finds plenty of challenges outside his career. He is learning ju jitsu, but says, “I am probably more of a danger to myself than to others at this time.” He and a friend have also taken annual bike trips for the last nine or ten years. This summer, they cycled in the Canadian Rockies.
Acker and his wife, Lillian, recently celebrated 30 years of marriage. Together, they have raised four children: Steven, Kenneth, Jennifer and Daniel.
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