Biography of Claire E. Lewis
Claire E. Lewis has more than thirty years of experience in the field of elder law. A founding member and first Chair of the Indiana State Bar Association's Elder Law Section, she currently serves as Chair of its Public Policy Committee. An active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Lewis was a founding member and first President of the Indiana chapter of NAELA and was re-elected as President of the organization for 2016. She recently completed her term on the Executive Committee of the Estate Planning Section of the Indianapolis Bar Association. Lewis completed six years of service on the Board of Directors of CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions (formerly the Central Indiana Council on Aging), serving as Secretary of the Board during her last two year term. She also completed a term of six years on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of Indiana for which she chaired its Mission and Outreach Committee.
Lewis was called upon by the State of Indiana to provide the initial review of the exams to be given to attorneys seeking the CELA (Certified Elder Law Attorney) certification. As a member of the Advisory Panel on Attorney Specialization for the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education, she was involved in the initial approval of the elder law certification in the state of Indiana.
As former Director of the Senior Law Project of the Legal Services Organization of Indiana, Lewis headed the Indiana sub-state Ombudsman Program for Central Indiana, promoting quality of care and nursing home residents’ rights for Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens.
Editor of the Indiana State Bar Association's popular book, the Laws of Aging (formerly the Legal Reference for Older Hoosiers), Lewis has authored or co-authored numerous papers and booklets on elder law issues including Medicaid in Indiana, Advance Directives, Medicaid for the Aging and Disabled in Indiana, Guardianship and Alternatives, The Legal Rights of Indiana Nursing Home Residents, and Housing Alternatives for the Older Person.
Lewis is a regular faculty member and program chair for the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum (ICLEF). For the past several years, she has chaired ICLEF'S Elder Law Institute, Advanced Medicaid Forum, and Advanced Elder Law Forum. Lewis is also a regular faculty member for educational seminars presented by the Indianapolis Bar Association (IBA), chairing the Medicaid Updates seminar in both 2002 and 2003 and Long Term Care Updates in 2004 and providing the Medicaid updates segment of its "What’s New?" annual workshop in 2005 and 2006. She has also chaired seminars from 2006 through the present for the IBA covering such topics as Medicaid Estate Recovery, the effect of the Deficit Reduction Act on Medicaid eligibility issues, and Special Needs Trusts. She has been a guest professor at the McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, focusing primarily on topics that relate to elder law. Lewis has served in an advisory capacity to Medicaid workers throughout the state and trained caseworkers, attorneys, and elder care professionals on Medicaid rules and regulations and other issues impacting older adults.
Lewis was named a Super Attorney in Elder Law by Indianapolis Monthly magazine for 2005 through 2016. Lewis was also named one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in Indiana for 2008 and 2011 by Indianapolis Monthly and a Five Star Wealth Manager from 2008 through 2014 by Indianapolis Monthly. She was selected by her peers as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in the area of elder law for more than ten years as announced by "Best Lawyers" and U.S. News Media Group, the publisher of U.S. News and World Reports and the nation's leading source of rankings and service journalism, and she is the lawyer of the year in elder law for 2016. Lewis was awarded the Indiana State Bar Foundation’s Law Related Education Award in October of 2005 and received the Indiana State Bar Association’s GP and Solo Practice Hall of Fame Award for 2009. Lewis was named most valuable attorney of the year by the Indiana Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for 2013.
Lewis was named as a Fellow of Indiana State Bar Foundation in 2010 and a Master Fellow in 2014. Established in 1979, the Fellows are an elite group of Indiana attorneys who demonstrate commitment to the ideals of the Foundation in advancing justice, promoting public understanding of the law, and enhancing the legal professions' performance of its ethical responsibilities. Only 1,000 Indiana attorneys are currently members of this select group. In 2012, she was also inducted as a Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.