I am a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University School of Law, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1967, the Ohio Bar in 1972, and the California Bar in 1975. I have worked in many areas of the law, ranging from criminal defense to civil matters, including Uniform Commercial Code, Bankruptcy, and Social Security Disability Matters. In 1974, I was appointed a SSI Judge with the Social Security Administration. In this capacity, I presided over numerous Social Security SSI disability hearings in California. In 1976, I opened my first office in San Diego, with an emphasis on Social Security cases. Soon the practice grew to include offices in Santa Ana and Long Beach. Later, my practice was redesigned with offices in San Diego and Downey, with an emphasis on Social Security disability cases. The Law Offices of Judith S. Leland continues to have locations in Downey and Santa Ana, California and Salt Lake City, Utah, while the partnership of Leland & Wasserman has offices in Ontario, California. I am an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR), and have served as a District Representative and as a speaker at NOSSCR conventions. I have also presented as a panel member at the C.E.B. course, "Handling the Social Security case." My past experiences also include serving as a chairperson of the Social Security Section of the Orange County Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and as a member of the Attorney-Client Relations Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. My firm's experience includes the over two thousand Social Security disability cases at all adjudicatory levels, including the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Consider the following:
Comfort Level - Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your problem?
Credentials - How long has the lawyer been in practice? Has the lawyer worked on other cases similar to yours?
Cost - How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
City - Is the lawyer's office conveniently located?
Here are a few to get you started:
It is always a good idea to research your lawyer prior to hiring. Every state has a disciplinary organization that monitors attorneys, their licenses, and consumer complaints. By researching lawyer discipline you can: