Fern J. Finkel, Esq. is an elder law attorney with her office in downtown Brooklyn. She has specialized in elder law and guardianship since 1998 and has been in private practice since 1990. Prior to establishing her private practice, Fern was a litigator specializing in medical malpractice and personal injury at the law firm of Damashek, Godosky and Gentile. In October, 2015, Ms. Finkel entered into a partnership with Julie Stoil Fernandez, forming Finkel & Fernandez LLP.
Fern graduated with honors with her Bachelor of Science in Economics from New York University College of Business and Public Administration in 1981. She received her Juris Doctor Degree from Boston University School of Law in 1984.
As part of her private practice, Fern spends a significant amount of time working pro bono on behalf of the indigent elderly of Brooklyn. She has spearheaded the Legal Education and Assistance Project, known as LEAP, at the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, which she is a Board Member of. The LEAP project is dedicated to training attorneys to perform outreach at community and senior centers throughout Brooklyn, with a focus on assisting seniors to have their health care proxies and advance directives in place, avoiding the painful process of Guardianship which might otherwise result.
Fern is the Chair of the Foundation Law Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association, the Vice Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association, a delegate to the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section where she serves as Co-Chair of the Guardianship Committee, and a board member of Legal Services New York City where she also serves on the executive board. Fern served for years as a volunteer certified mediator with Safe Horizons for community disputes, PINS cases and custody matters, as well as with the United States District Court, Eastern District. Fern lectures for various bar associations on topics including the Role of the Guardian, Role of the Court Evaluator, Role of the Attorney for the Alleged Incapacitated Person, Advance Directives and Guardianship. Since 2004 she has served as a mentor attorney at the Elder Law Clinic at New York Law School. Fern is a co-founder of the Touro Center Aging and Longevity Institute Guardianship Quality Initiative, a co-facilitator of the Working Model of Guardianship- WINGS [Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders] and serves on the Committees on Character and Fitness for the Second Judicial Department.
Fern has won numerous awards for her pro bono service, including the Brooklyn Bar Association Frieda S. Nisnewitz Award for Pro Bono Service (1996), an Award of Merit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1997), the New York State Bar Association Pro Bono Award for the Second Judicial District (2003), the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York Hanna S. Cohn Pro Bono Award (2004), the Brooklyn Bar Association Distinguished Service Award (2009) and (2013) and the Brooklyn Volunteer Lawyers Project Building Bridges Leadership Award (2013). Fern has been listed as a New York Super Lawyer in the field of elder law in 2014, 2015 and 2016.