About Our Team

Jerrold Bartholomew, Principal & Attorney at Law

Jerry is an attorney and the founder of Priority Elder Law & Estate Planning, PLC.   He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and admitted to the Eastern District of Michigan Federal Court, as well as enjoying memberships in the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, the Financial Planning Association of Michigan, the National Lawyers Association, and the Lapeer County Bar Association.  He is the author of the popular MichiganElderLaw.info blog on current elder law issues in Michigan.

Jerry received his B.A. in Literature and Classical Languages from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL, and his M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD. He later received his Juris Doctor from Ave Maria School of Law, Ann Arbor, MI, where he served as an officer of the National Lawyers Association and worked to promote the goals of the Lex Vitae organization. He served as a law clerk for the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation, and a distinguished Michigan law firm. He then practiced with a well-established firm in elder law, estate planning and bankruptcy for a number of years before founding his own practice.

Prior to entering the field of law, Jerry taught Latin, English and History, and coached lacrosse for several years in Miami, FL.  Outside of the practice of law, Jerry is active in his church and finds time for his wife, their seven children, epic poetry, Mexican food, clay target shooting, trips up north, and his Golden Retriever and his Springer Spaniel.  He also serves as the Director of Studies at St. Benedict Classical Homeschool Program.

 

Claire Bono, Client Services Coordinator

Few people are as warm and professional as Claire is, putting clients at ease and handling all client matters with skill and discretion.  Claire combines the background and skill set of a paralegal with an outgoing and generous disposition.  With a diverse background in health care, bookkeeping and legal work, she brings a broad range of professional skills to the Priority team while maintaining a professionalism and integrity that are grounded in a personal connection with clients and an understanding of what they are going through.

Claire is the mother of three children, two of whom are grown and living on their own.  She lives with her husband and son in Lake Orion, near both her parents and in-laws.

 

Jennifer Bartholomew, Business Development Director

Jen is always looking for a challenge, so she was very grateful to have the opportunity to get involved in Priority’s business development activities.  From strategic development to marketing to practice management,  Jen is involved in all aspects of the firm outside of legal work.  Providentially, she was prepared well for this role while working for several years in Miami under the direction of a superb attorney, marketing director and development expert.  Later Jen used those skills in her role of Business Development Coordinator at a Michigan law firm before helping her husband found Priority.

She is thrilled to be involved in the elder care field, having grown up surrounded by her three living grandparents.  Those close relationships gave her a tremendous appreciation for the elderly — their stories, knowledge, frugality, good common sense, and incredible wisdom — and also allowed her to see the challenges inherent in caregiving and decision-making in those later years. “I love being able to help families answer their questions and find solutions,” she says, “especially when they are frustrated or confused.  And I tremendously enjoy helping to build up a business that I know is in a position to do so much good for families facing end-of-life issues.”

Jen received her B.A. from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN, and attended graduate school at St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD.  She is the mother of seven energetic children, ages15 to 2, and serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Benedict Classical Homeschool Program.

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