JAN DILS • Disability Benefits Attorney
Member: West Virginia Bar Association, National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
When she graduated from the West Virginia University School of Law in 1994, Jan Dils opened a law firm with one goal in mind.
“Making a difference and helping people,” she said.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, LC, has grown tremendously to feature a staff of more than 50 attorneys, claims representatives, clerks and support staff that serves clients from its West Virginia offices in Parkersburg, Charleston, Logan, Beckley and Huntington and its office in Charlotte, North Carolina.
But Jan has made sure that as the firm grows it has never strayed from its mission of offering professional, caring service to its clients.
The firm focuses exclusively on helping individuals obtain Social Security disability benefits through the Social Security Administration and veterans’ benefits through the Veterans’ Administration.
Both claims processes can be long and difficult journeys through a bureaucratic maze. Jan said her highly trained staff has the legal skill, persistence and understanding that clients need in what is often one of the most difficult periods of their lives.
“I enjoy the fact that I can walk through the office and hear people speaking my language. They’re talking to clients, consoling them or telling them good news. They’re showing that mix of professionalism and compassion,” Jan said.
“To be honest, in the legal profession, it’s hard to find people who have that mix. But I’ve found them, and I couldn’t be any happier with the team we have serving our clients.”
Jan majored in marketing and economics at Marietta College before earning her Masters in Business Administration at West Virginia University in 1991 and going on to law school at WVU.
During her second year as a law student, she became exposed to disability benefits law for the first time while working at an internship. She knew right away that she wanted to practice in that area as soon as she was admitted to the West Virginia Bar.
“There weren’t many attorneys doing this, so there was really no one for many people with disability claims to turn to,” Jan said. “And it fit with my belief in helping people and making a difference. It’s something I knew I could look in the mirror and be proud about. Not a day goes by where I haven’t had a case that made me proud.”
Jan isn’t the only member of her team who feels a level of pride in their work. When she returns to the office from a successful hearing, she usually expects to face a cross examination from her staff.
“They have become personally involved in clients’ lives,” she said. “They’re the ones who have dealt with clients who may have lost their car, their home or their family, and they’ve been the ones to track down their medical records and prepare their cases. So, they want to know: ‘What happened?’”
“We are client-driven in everything we do,” Jan said.
Jan is actively involved in the community beyond her legal work. She contributes regularly to civic and charity organizations, such as Relay for Life, and she currently serves on the board of directors for the Veterans Museum of Mid-Ohio Valley in Parkersburg.
You can also find her at the gym every morning at 5 o’clock or spending time with her husband and two boys.