Edward V. Wilcenski, Esq.


Working on disability issues was never a doubt for Ed Wilenski, Esq., of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC, in Clifton Park, N.Y. What did surprise him, though, was being invited to join SNA when it was a young organization whose members were taking their law practices in new directions. Ed’s life story also includes two years in China and a recent interest in old vinyl records. Get to know him better in this short profile.

I joined in 2003, and at that time there weren’t many attorneys focusing on the younger disabled population– most were doing this work as an extension of their estate planning and elder law practices. It was early on in my legal career, and I couldn’t believe that I got an invitation to rub elbows with the likes of Robert Fleming, Mary Schmitt Smith, Tom Begley and the other founding members of the SNA. It was exhilarating to sit with and learn from attorneys who saw the need, recognized the opportunities, and chose to focus their law practices in this area. Plus, we got to meet on the Stetson campus.

My brother is developmentally disabled, and my father spent the majority of his career working with people with mental illness, so disability issues have been table talk in my family for as long as I can remember. There was never a question about where I would concentrate my practice. Recently I’ve been focused on the transition of oversight and advocacy to the next generation of caregivers when parents age and pass on. Siblings and other family members will never be able to fill the parents’ shoes, and we simply cannot rely on the Medicaid-funded service delivery system as we might have in years past. In the years to come, we will need to be creative and proactive in helping clients develop practical, often privately funded solutions to this emerging crisis.

Pretty diverse. My kids bought me a turntable, and I’ve been searching for vintage vinyl across a number of different genres. Best finds thus far: live Ray Charles recordings from the 1950s and ’60s and some early José Feliciano. But if I was stranded on a desert island with one artist’s music, it would be Van Morrison.

After I graduated from college, I spent two years teaching English in China and studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. My Mandarin is rusty but respectable.