Theresa M. Varnet
Theresa M. Varnet is Of Counsel with the firm, and her practice concentrates on Special Needs Planning. Her clients include families and individuals with special needs of all types.
Of Counsel with the firm, Theresa M. Varnet has been an advocate for persons with disabilities for over 40 years. In addition to being a lawyer, she is a certified teacher, licensed social worker and the parent of a disabled adult daughter. She has served as Social Services Director in a residential school for children with multiple disabilities, Coordinator for a Special Education Cooperative, and as a Citizen Advocacy/Disability Rights Coordinator. While living in the Sultanate of Oman, she assisted the Omani Ministry of Social Affairs in developing the first preschool program for children with handicapping conditions.
Her experience includes extensive work in the area of in-service training with families, special educators, social workers and other professionals. A frequent speaker for volunteer and professional groups, Attorney Varnet presents numerous seminars on special needs planning and advocacy across the U.S. She has also been interviewed on NPR's "All Things Considered" radio program.
Attorney Varnet is an active volunteer in the national, state and local chapters of The Arc, she is co-chair of the Special Needs Law Committee of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and is a member of TASH, AMI, The Autism Society, past member of the Developmental Disabilities Council in Massachusetts and Kentucky, and past member of the Governor's Advisory Panel on Special Education in Kentucky.
Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Illinois, Attorney Varnet received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Connecticut in 1979. She earned her J.D. from DePaul University in 1989. She divides her time between her Chicago-based practice at Spain, Spain & Varnet and the Massachusetts offices of Fletcher Tilton PC.
Attorney Varnet's administrative assistant is Wilma Vallejos, (508) 459-8079.
- Elder Law & Special Needs
- Human Services Provider Representation
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA); co-chair of the Special Needs Law Committee
- National, state and local chapters of The Arc
- American and Worcester County Bar Associations
- Academy of Special Needs Planners
- The Autism Society
- Member, Developmental Disabilities Council, Massachusetts and Kentucky
- Nominated to the Governor's Advisory Panel on Special Education in Kentucky
A frequent speaker, Attorney Varnet has presented at the national conferences of TASH, American Association on Mental Retardation, and The Arc, among others. With Richard Spain, she is the co-author of the booklets “Home Control through Estate and Financial Planning,” “Estate Planning for the Aging Incapacitated Client in Massachusetts,” and 'Special Needs Trust.”
Quoted on numerous occasions in national journals and publications, she has appeared in the Kiplinger Retirement Report, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, the AARP Bulletin, Exceptional Parent magazine and the National Public Radio program "All Things Considered."
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- The State of Illinois