My educational goals led me to enroll in the University of California at Berkeley in 1961. I graduated in 1966 with a Bachelors degree in Economics. I then enrolled in the economics graduate program at the University of California at Davis. I earned a Masters Degree in Economics in 1968. Shortly thereafter in the Fall of 1968, I was married to my wife of 51 years, Gail Whitaker.
My career goals then changed after I worked for the California State Legislature for the Joint Budget Committee. At that time I was analyzing the financial impact of legislation. This caused me to consider law as a legal career. I then enrolled in the University of California Davis in 1970. My wife, an elementary school teacher in the Fairfield Unified School District, were living in Davis. We agreed to put on hold starting a family until I graduated from law school in 1973. I sat for the Bar Examination in July, 1973 and passed the test on the first try. I became licensed to practice law on December 17, 1973.
I did my first Social Security disability case in the Spring of 1974, as part of a general practice. I continue to accept Social Security disability cases for 20 years. However, approximately 25 years ago, I decided to limit my practice to Social Security Disability and SSI disability claims. Over the past 25 years, I have handled over 10,000 cases, with an overall approval rate of approximately 85-90%. My clients have received benefits or will receive both cash benefits and medical insurance benefits worth well over 2 billion dollars.
This practice has brought me a great deal of satisfaction in helping so many of my clients to receive the benefits they worked so hard for and deserved. No one really wants to become disabled. I have concluded as I complete by 46 years of law practice, that most of my clients would give all the money back to Social Security in exchange for their health back.
I plan to continue this tradition of service to my community by enlisting additional legal expertise from well qualified but younger attorneys.
Richard A. Whitaker