Riemer & Associates has handled the long term disability needs of a broad spectrum of lawyers ranging in practice areas and level of experience (e.g., partners and associates from AM 100 law firms; in-house counsels from major financial institutions).
Examples of common disability issues that our firm has handled for our clients include: musculoskeletal injuries to the cervical/lumbar spine and lower extremities precluding the ability to sit for prolonged periods and/or travel; injuries to the upper extremities limiting the use of the computer on a frequent basis; speech deficits limiting the ability to communicate with others effectively; cognitive deficits, fatigue, and systemic pain due to autoimmune diseases limiting the ability to maintain attention/concentration,process information efficiently, or work an 8-hour workday; mental illnesses that limit the ability to interact with others. Consult with our disability lawyers in New York for more on this topic.
Occupational Duties of Lawyers
The occupation of a Lawyer is identified as a sedentary occupation by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (4th ed.) (“DOT”) published by the U.S. Department of Labor under code 110.107.010, which requires 6 hours of sitting and 2 hours of walking/standing throughout the day. The DOT further details the occupational requirements of a Lawyer, including: conduct research; analyze documents; develop strategy and arguments; draft legal documents; and advise clients as to legal rights. The DOT code and specific occupational duties of a Lawyer vary depending on his/her area of specialty.
The Occupational Information Network (“O*NET”), an on-line database developed under the sponsorship of the DOL, identifies the occupation of a Lawyer under code 23-1011.00. Alternate O*NET codes are available depending on the Lawyer’s area of specialty. O*NET details additional important attributes relevant to the occupation of a Lawyer, including: communicate with others effectively both verbally and in writing; use logic/analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses of different approaches; know how to find information and identify essential information; weigh the relative costs and benefits of a potential action.
Disability Challenges for Lawyers
Insurers focus heavily on the physicality of a Lawyer’s occupation, particularly the sitting requirement. While sitting is certainly a significant requirement, focusing only on that requirement does not fully assess other significant requirements that could prevent you from working. The NY disability attorneys at Riemer & Associates, therefore, direct the insurers to critical occupational requirements that are commonly overlooked, such as the cognitive demands, the long hours in excess of a typical 8 hour workday, the significant amount of computer and telephone work, and the stressful and strict deadlines mandated by the court and/or their clients. We also educate the insurers that not all lawyers are restricted to prolonged sitting. For example, a trial lawyer may be required to travel to/from court to attend legal proceedings, such as hearings, conferences, oral arguments, and trials, requiring the lifting/carrying of voluminous exhibits and supporting materials. A corporate lawyer may be required to travel frequently to visit client offices across the nation and/or internationally. The duties of a lawyer also vary depending on his/her experience and status at the firm or company. For an example, a Partner of a large firm is required to supervise a team of associates and support staff.