May 22, 2019   
Contact: Abby M. Reitz, Communications Manager
       703-942-5711 #230

Attorney Receives National Community Service Award for Advocacy in Elder Law

Washington, DC — The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is proud to announce the winner of the 2019 Powley Elder Law Award: Leonard F. Berg, CELA, of East Alton, Ill. This award is presented annually to a NAELA member who is recognized in his or her community as a leader in promoting a greater understanding of the rights and needs of the elderly and people with special needs, and of how elder law attorneys advocate for those rights. 

The award was established in the memory of Wes and Helen Powley, grandparents of NAELA member Timothy L. Takacs, of Hendersonville, Tenn. Both Wes and Helen were active in civic affairs for all of their lives, and Wes practiced dentistry well into his 80s. The award is funded by a cash grant from the Takacs family to a nonprofit organization chosen by the Powley Award recipient. Mr. Berg selected the Illinois State Council K of C Charities, Inc. as the recipient of this year’s grant on behalf of individuals with disabilities.

Mr. Berg is an active Illinois NAELA Chapter Board member, serves on the Illinois NAELA Legislative Committee, was the primary author for the Illinois ABLE Act, and assisted in developing the most current form of the Illinois Health Care Power of Attorney. He is also a contributing member of the Special Needs Alliance.

He has devoted his entire legal career to serving seniors and the special needs community through advocacy and education at local, state and national levels. He is dedicated to ensuring the most vulnerable clients in need receive access to the legal system.

He regularly volunteers and takes cases on pro bono through Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and Catholic Charities. He was the first recipient of Illinois NAELA Chapter Ron Runkle Award for his participation on the Illinois NAELA listserve and his willingness to mentor and provide assistance to other NAELA members.

Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit

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