In August, we will be saying goodbye to a valued employee. Case Manager Melissa Araiza is embarking on a new adventure–law school. Melissa has been a steadfast advocate for Cuddigan Law Social Security and VA clients. “The thing I like best about helping clients is when I can talk to someone who is unsure of what they want to do and reassure them that this is the path they need to take,” she says. “Many people don’t want to apply for Social Security disability because they feel as though it’s a ‘hand out,’ or that applying is somehow admitting defeat to their condition. I like being a sounding board for my clients; being able to reassure them that they have earned the right to these benefits by the hard work they have done in the past, and that asking for help is not the same as giving up.”
Given her outlook it will come as no surprise why Melissa wants to be a lawyer. “I decided to go to law school because I want to be able to change the system. Right now I feel like the system is rigged against the average person, and I want to work to change policies to better benefit the American people.” Among her free time activities, she actively supports Represent Us a non-partisan organization that aims to get big money out of politics and is working to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act in cities and states across America.
Sean Cuddigan has this to say about her: “I know Melissa will make a great lawyer. Anyone who has met her knows almost immediately that she has positive, can-do attitude and she is not afraid to tackle anything.” It is fitting then that her favorite quote (which comes from author Robert Louis Stevenson) says, “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.”