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Ellyce Anapolsky, a 2004 graduate of The John Marshall Law School, has been awarded a 2013 Chicago Bar Foundation/Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship in recognition of her public interest work advocating for low-income individuals and families.
By providing key financial assistance, the $50,000 fellowship makes it possible for committed attorneys to maintain careers in public service. The payment will be made over five years to help reduce Anapolsky’s law school loans.
Anapolsky has served as a staff attorney at Health & Disability Advocates (HDA) since she graduated. She represents clients primarily in Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits cases, with a current interest in young adults transitioning from children’s benefits to adult benefits.
Anapolsky provides vital services to disabled individuals by protecting the modest benefits on which they depend and by helping them to understand and navigate a complicated and often frustrating system.
In addition, Anapolsky plays a significant role in training benefit planners, health insurance counselors and medical staff on issues involving Medicare, Social Security and other benefits matters.
As a result of her subject matter expertise, as well as her technical background, Anapolsky was afforded the unique opportunity to serve as one of nine SSI/SSDI attorneys across the nation who, since 2008, has assisted the Social Security Administration with the design and implementation of an electronic platform designed to enable attorneys to access claimants’ files on the Internet in preparation for hearings.
Before her time as a John Marshall student, Anapolsky’s accounting career spanned 30 years and included many years of pro bono activities and employment at nonprofit entities, including serving as a housing economist and later director of administration and acting controller at the National Association of Homebuilders National Research Center; chief financial officer of the Lab School of Washington; director of administration of the National Senior Citizens Law Center; and finally chief administrative officer of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). It was her work with attorneys at NCCUSL that ultimately prompted Anapolsky to return to law school at the age of 53, seeking a career in which she would find more meaning and fulfillment.
As a student, she received an Exemplary Public Service Award from Equal Justice Works as well as an Equal Justice America Fellowship. She also served as John Marshall’s representative for the Cook County State’s Attorney Student Advisory Board and Equal Justice Works. She did several public interest internships during law school, including one at Health & Disability Advocates, which set the stage for her current work.