Family is the inspiration behind narrowing the Procino-Wells & Woodland, LLC practice to a single specialty: elder law. Michele’s own family has set the pace for her, instilling values and beliefs that extend to her professional life. Michele watched her parents build a family business and absorbed valuable lessons about hard work and determination. Those that know her family can see similarities between Michele and her dad. Pat Procino, the son of Italian immigrants, is surely the person that Michele learned the most from about turning a dream into a reality.
Growing up in Laurel, Delaware, Michele has strong roots in Sussex County. Like so many Sussex County natives, Michele envisioned a life outside the county as she pursued college, but ultimately could not deny her love of the area. After studying at Penn State University, Widener University School of Law, and Villanova University School of Law, Michele returned home to serve her community.
Initially, Michele found a professional home with Schmittinger & Rodriguez in Dover in 1995 and in 1998 transitioned to a Georgetown firm that soon became known as Smith, O’Donnell, Procino & Berl, LLP. In March 2005, Michele opened her own office in Seaford, now known as Procino-Wells & Woodland, LLC. The first of the firm’s office locations in Seaford is located in an 1880s home that over the years has been used as residential space, an antique store, and most recently a preschool where Michele’s son, Josh, attended in 2004 and 2005. The fully renovated space complements the firm’s work of honoring heritage and serving future generations.
Inspired by a 2010 County growth projection presentation, Michele quickly identified the need for legal services to support the growing aging population. The firm was already working in estate planning, but it was clear that helping families in a more comprehensive way was necessary. The idea was born to focus strictly on elder law, which includes helping families create Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney; planning to protect their assets from the costs of long-term care; and administering their loved ones’ estates. Immediately, Michele wanted to support her own family in this area, not wanting to see her parents exhaust the fruits of their labor on the potential costs of long-term care in the future. It’s easy to relay the feelings that come naturally toward her own family to the clients Michele serves every day.
Michele maintains membership with ElderCounsel, WealthCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the National Care Planning Council, and the Elder Law Section of the Delaware State Bar Association. Michele is past President of Soroptimist International of Seaford and the Curiosity Service Foundation. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of TidalHealth, Inc. and the Chair-Elect of TidalHealth Nanticoke, Inc. In 2019 Michele was recognized by Delaware Today as a Top Lawyer in the state.
Michele resides in Seaford with her husband, John Wells, and their four sons, Chase, Josh, Will and Jack. Much of Michele’s free time is spent cheering for her boys’ sporting events. Will and Jack are avid year-round swimmers and John is a championship winning coach at Sussex Central High School. Chase is a communications major at West Chester University and Josh is a computer engineering major at Georgia Tech. In her spare time, Michele loves spending time with family, cooking and traveling.