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Alexis Gettier's interest in becoming a lawyer developed gradually. While an undergraduate premedical student at Wake Forest University, she worked with a wildlife management organization in South Africa and spent a summer studying marine biology in Jamaica. Her first experience working with lawyers was during an internship for Sen. Christopher Dodd in Washington, D.C., which directed her toward a legal career.
In law school, Gettier soon realized she wanted to be in trusts and estates. While taking a tax class and an estate planning class in the same semester, something clicked, Gettier said. "This was something that spoke to me."
In her practice, Gettier assists high net worth individuals, including same-sex and unmarried couples, with tax and estate planning. She provides guidance on the structuring of gifts and planning for business succession; advises families and fiduciaries in the administration of complex estates and trusts; and handles estate planning and administration for individuals with substantial art portfolios, including collectors, investors and artists.
"I enjoy the creativity of estate planning and estate administration," Gettier said. "One thing I like most is that the work you do is intensely personal. You are helping people with legal issues that really impact their personal lives, not just their work lives. Things like 'Where will my children live if something happens to me?' I get to be both a trusted adviser, someone who is regarded by people as their family lawyer, and still do work that is complex and meaningful."
Gettier also enjoys working with a large group of dedicated trusts and estates lawyers at a firm that thinks of its clients "as the driving force of what we do," Gettier said. "Taking the long view is all-important."
Since joining Day Pitney in 2011, Gettier has resolved many complicated trusts and estates matters with her sensitive, creative approach. When one client lost her husband to cancer and then was diagnosed with a serious illness a couple of years later, Gettier worked quickly to get a co-guardianship arrangement in place for their children to avoid a potentially serious family conflict.
Susie Ercole is another trusts and estates client who appreciates Gettier's creativity in practice. When Ercole's husband passed away after a long illness, Gettier provided a steady hand in dealing with Ercole's estate planning "paperwork from every direction."
"Alexis handled every aspect and took all the burden off my shoulders," said Ercole. "Her professionalism and sensitivity to my situation helped me tremendously. Alexis truly cares about her clients, and she is extremely attentive to their needs."
When she is not practicing, Gettier and her husband are busy with activities for their children and are active in their community. The Gettier family is deeply committed to MISSION, a Connecticut organization that provides support for cancer warriors and survivors, and Alexis and her husband annually captain separate teams for the Connecticut Challenge bike ride.