As a complex and unpredictable disease, MS can have varying effects on a person’s life at home, at work or in the community. Understanding the legal protections available to you while you navigate change sometimes requires a professional. Below are questions to consider while looking for the best attorney or advocate resources for you and your situation.
Questions to consider:
- Have I exhausted all the avenues I can take to resolve the issue prior to consulting an attorney?
- How would I describe the subject matter that I am concerned about and what type of attorney specializes in that area?
- Are there other community resources that may be helpful to address my legal issue (e.g., U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, state fair employment practice agencies, disability rights centers, legal aid)?
- Do I need advice on what next steps to take independently or do I need someone to formally represent me?
- How is the attorney paid? Do they work on a contingency basis, meaning, they only get paid if my case is won? Do they work on retainer? Do they charge hourly?
- Can I pay for an attorney or am I looking strictly for pro-bono (donated) services?
- Have I visited the lawyer’s website to evaluate whether this lawyer appears to be the right fit for my matter (level of experience, professionalism, areas of expertise)?
- Have I independently verified references to this lawyer to ensure that the lawyer is competent and ethical?
- What is the attorney’s experience working with someone with MS? Would I work with other people in the office, and do they have experience working with someone with MS?
- Depending upon the nature of my need, what time frame should I expect?
Find Legal Resources
Now that you’ve reviewed the guide, we encourage you to conduct a search for resources in your area by using the Find Doctors & Resources tool. Select the “Legal Resources” category and then the support subtype "Community Legal Services" or "Social Security Disability Attorneys" depending upon your need.
The Society maintains a carefully selected list of attorneys whose practice concentrates on private Long Term Disability. Contact an MS Navigator for referral information.