Roseville, MN. Finding a good lawyer for your Social Security Disability and SSI claim can be difficult. Promises on the Internet and TV ads are seemingly endless. Finding a good lawyer, however, is important. How can you do it?
I wrote a HoglundLaw blog last year about how to choose a lawyer for your Social Security claim. Clarity is in order. A good Social Security lawyer can correctly answer these 6 questions below correctly. Before you hire a lawyer, print this out and ask these questions. Can your potential Social Security Disability lawyer pass this test?
- Ask: “Are you a licensed attorney?” If you want representation from a lawyer who has gone to law school and can practice law, this will cut to the chase. This is a yes or no question.
- Ask: “How many hearings do you average a week?” For most lawyers, an average of 2 or more Social Security hearings per week says a lot about their current experience and client base.
- Ask: “Do you ever get into arguments with Social Security staff or judges?” If your prospective lawyer brags about “scuffles” with Social Security, decide if he or she burns bridges. If you smell smoke, get out! You don’t want to be lugging around your lawyer’s baggage. You want a persuasive lawyer. Leave attack dogs at home.
- Ask: “What do you argue other than medical evidence at Social Security hearings?” Listen to the answer. A good Social Security lawyer can explain how he or she will make you a real person for the judge at your hearing, not just a list of diagnoses.
- Ask: “What is your win rate?” This is a trick question. Bad lawyers brag and induce you to hire them with a “success” rate. Legal promises like this are unethical. And there is another problem. How do you think a lawyer gets a high win rate? Cherry-picking. Do you want to get dumped before your hearing to preserve the win rate? A good lawyer, on the other hand, will candidly evaluate your case but not promise your result. You want a lawyer who will stay the course.
- (I saved the best question for last.) Ask: “What do other local Social Security lawyers think about you?” Then ask, “Can I call one that doesn’t work with you?” A good lawyer will smile and hand you a card with a local name and a phone number. A bad lawyer will try to explain his or her reputation. If you might be talking with a bad lawyer, you might want to hire the new one on the card. Good lawyers invite you to compare.
Find a good Social Security Disability lawyer. If you have questions for our lawyers, call Hoglund Law Offices for a free consultation.
Andrew Kinney, Esq.
About the Author: Attorney Andrew Kinney began practicing in the area of Social Security Disability Law in 1992. He works at Hoglund Law Offices, a multi-state law firm listed in the top 100 largest law firms in Minnesota in 2010 by Lawyers Weekly. He speaks locally and nationally, most recently on vocational expert cross-examination at a national conference in San Antonio. He is currently a Chair of the Social Security Disability Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association.