Charles Hall, Esq. knows a thing or two about running a Social Security disability law practice. He is a past president of the National Association of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), and he publishes a widely-read blog, Social Security News.
In a recent blog post entitled New Kid On The Block, Mr. Hall addresses the latest “national” law firm to seek Social Security disability clients. Mr. Hall writes:
There is also the issue that affects any outfit which tries to represent Social Security claimants nationwide — how do you represent people who will be having hearings all across the United States? It would take hundreds of offices and thousands of employees all across the country to do this properly. No entity representing Social Security disability claimants has that kind of network. So what does the Cochran Firm do, work through local attorneys and non-attorneys, which means that the Cochran Firm exists for little more than advertising purposes, or try to deal with the claimant only over the telephone until the day of the hearing and then parachute in someone to represent the claimant at the hearing, which is expensive for the firm and not too satisfactory for the claimant? Either way, a “national” firm representing Social Security disability claimants has a lot of problems.
I completely agree. I think that the business model of a “national” Social Security disability firm makes for an experience that is “not too satisfactory for the claimant,” to borrow the words of Mr. Hall.
I believe local representation is best. You certainly don’t have to be a national firm to have case management software or trained staff. And I have written before about the importance of knowing the administrative law judge who will decide your case.
Local knowledge also means knowing the staff at the Social Security local office and hearing office. Over the years we build relationships with these folks, and those relationships benefit our clients. That local knowledge is hard to come by when you have to fly in to attend the hearing.