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Growing up in south Florida, it may have been inevitable that Nash attorney Brianne Stricoff would attend the University of Florida and become a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool Florida Gators fan. She will tell you with a wry smile that her favorite free time activity is to watch any and all Florida U. sports on TV. But her college experiences also have deeper meaning for Brianne. She knows that a college education can change the trajectory of a person’s life and that’s why she supports and volunteers for the Chicago Scholars Foundation. Since 1996 the Foundation has been selecting, training, and mentoring academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to complete college and become the next generation of leaders who will transform their neighborhoods and our city. “Most of the participants are first generation college graduates and come from single parent working homes,” Brianne explains. Today, Chicago Scholars is the largest college access and success program in Chicago serving over 1,000 scholars each year in a seven-year college mentoring and career support program.
In her work as a hearings attorney at Nash Disability Law, Brianne knows that helping clients earn the disability benefits they deserve can also be life-changing and life-saving. Here’s how she describes her work: “I meet with clients prior to their hearings so that they feel prepared to testify in front of the judge. I advocate for clients during the hearing by presenting a theory of the case, summarizing medical records, and cross examining medical and vocational experts. I also advocate for clients after the hearing through brief writing and appellate work.”
“The best part about being a hearings attorney is working directly with clients prior to the hearing. I enjoy learning the details of our clients’ lives that may not be evident from the medical records. After meeting with the clients, I have a better understanding of who they are as people, and I can use those details to craft a winning legal argument. I always appreciate how open and honest clients are about their everyday lives and the obstacles they face.”
In the few moments of her life not occupied by advocating for Nash clients, mentoring young scholars, or watching Gator sports, Brianne enjoys competing in spirited games of bar trivia, attending comedy shows, and hanging out with her dog, Pete. This Florida transplant has fully embraced her new northern home. “My favorite place in Chicago is the Art Institute. My second favorite place is Portillos,” she says.