What does a social security lawyer do?
Social security lawyers provide legal representation and advice on social security and disabilities issues. They help people qualify for social security and disability benefits and make sure they understand the necessary rules and procedures. They often help individuals that have been denied benefits submit appeals. They represent clients and present their cases to administrative law judges. Social security lawyers obtain the necessary documents such as medical records and they often confer with doctors and other healthcare providers of their clients.
What kind of training does a social security lawyer need?
Social security lawyers must have a bachelor degree and Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school. All law schools require candidates to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Law school provides intensive classroom instruction and enables students to participate in a variety of practical learning experiences. Prospective social security lawyers often complete courses in social security law, disabilities, legal writing, and civil procedure. Most law schools require students to complete an internship before graduation. Many aspiring social security lawyers complete internships or clerkships at law firms that specialize in social security law to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. All states require social security lawyers to pass the state bar examination and become licensed. Social security lawyers must complete regular continuing legal education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast with advancements and changes in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a social security lawyer?
Employment of all lawyers, including social security lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The aging population and increase in social security cases will drive job growth of social security lawyers.
Job prospects are expected to be good with strong competition. Social security lawyers with excellent academic records and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do social security lawyers make?
As of February 2010, the average annual salary for social security lawyers is $59,000; average annual social security lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a social security lawyer is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in social security law and providing representation to a variety of clients. Social security lawyers must have a solid understanding of the rules and procedures related to social security and disability benefits. Patience, detail orientation, critical thinking, compassion, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Social security lawyers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a variety of elderly and disabled clients.