Social Security Disability Law

Social Security Disability Law Experience:

I have worked in Social Security Disability Law since 2001 as an Attorney for the SSA Regional Chief Administrative Law Judge in San Francisco, California. I was part of a unit of Attorneys especially selected to work on the most complex SSI/SSDI claims in the Region. As such, I am well versed in Social Security Administrative law and procedure, and most importantly, the workings of the Administrative Law Judges, the Social Security Hearing Office (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review ODAR) and the Social Security Field Offices.

I also was an Attorney for the SSA Office of the General Counsel which handles SSA claims that are appealed to Federal District Court (i.e., the Northern District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals). Therefore, I am also knowledgeable in the area of Social Security Federal Appeals Law.

Legal Qualifications and Accomplishments

BA College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (1996).

JD  Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C. (2000),
cum laude, top 12% of class, named to Law Review, selected for publication:
"Sex, Drugs & the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Why Comment e is the Answer to the Woman Question" 48 American University Law Review 1139 (1999).

Admitted to Practice Law:
Virginia          (2000) Bar Number 45941
California       (2005) Bar Number 235784

Supreme Court of California (2005)
Federal District Court for the Northern District of California (2008)
Supreme Court of Virginia (2001).

-Member of the National Association of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR).
-AIDS Legal Referral Panel MCLE Presenter.
-Volunteer Legal Services Program, San Francisco Bar Association (VLSP) Volunteer.

Benefits of Working with a Solo Pracitioner

I try to always balance my experience, knowledge and zeal for the law, with heartfelt compassion for each and every one of my clients and their families. For, under the morass of Social Security paperwork and mountains of medical records is a person, and often a family, in need, and even the most fiercely intelligent, experienced lawyer will lose her case if she loses sight of that fact. 

I specifically choose to work as a Solo Practitioner, so that my clients deal directly with me. Being closely involved in all aspects of my clients' claims, from filing to brief writing, is vital to a good outcome.

In my practice you will not get lost in the shuffle.  Because I do not have a large staff or burdensome office expenses, I am able to select cases that I feel are strong and focus my energy on them, rather than taking many cases that I do not believe in, just to pay the bills.  As such, I have a positive reputation with SSA as an attorney whose clients have strong, legitimate claims.  Although there are no guarantees, I ultimately win most of my cases.

Because I do not have a staff, you may need to leave me a voicemail or an email with a follow up question or new information.  Please know that I check my voicemail and Email multiple times during the day, but I may not be able to get back to you that day for a non-emergent matter.  I am most accessible by Email.  This is the tradeoff you make when you hire me over the big firms, and I believe it is worth it.

I perform the initial consultation and intake over the phone and then follow-up with further phone calls/emails/faxes and snail mail.  If and when a case goes to the hearing level, I meet my clients in person in a location most convenient for them.  However, I consider my voicemail, email and my fax my staff, and they have worked out just fine for my clients.

I understand that this method of practice is somewhat non-traditional.  However, I find that many lawyers with a traditional secretary and office still defer most of their phone calls to their staff and are often not available to speak to their clients when they call or appear in the office with miscellaneous questions or information. 

After nearly three years at the Social Security Administration, I realized that there was a great need for experienced, compassionate attorneys in the area of Social Security Disability Law, and it was my calling to meet that need.  My extensive experience advocating on behalf of disabled people has proven that working as a Solo Practioner is the best way for me to meet that need.