By Becca Gauthier, Disability/Administrative Law Clinic Legal Intern

Becca Gauthier (R) with supervisor Julie McCormack (L) at her first Social Security Administration hearing

As a first year law student at Harvard Law School, I didn’t get a chance to participate in any hands-on client work. However, that quickly changed upon starting my job at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center this summer. I work in the Disability/Administrative Law Clinic and my main role is to help clients whose Social Security claims have been denied. My first hearing was set for less than a month after starting, so I had to quickly figure out what I needed and make sure a hearing memo and opening statement were ready to go. I also met with my client multiple times and worked to get him ready to go in front of the judge.

The hearing went smoothly. I was able to ask my client all of the questions I had for him, and the judge seemed receptive. The judge then questioned a vocational expert who confirmed the client would not be able to work. Now we wait and hope that the judge will rule that our client is disabled so that he will be able to receive the benefits he so desparately needs. I have a few more hearings scheduled and have filed a complaint for a case in District Court. I look forward to seeing what the next few months bring and I am happy to be staying on at the Center for the fall semester!