Social Security Disability Attorney Michelle
Practicing law is a second career for Cheli, who previously worked as an educator, coach, and professional development coordinator and as the project director for multiple federal educational
technology grants in North Carolina. Cheli joined the Jan Dils team in February 2012 and within months transitioned into the lead appellate brief writer for the firm. Her skills as a former teacher also have benefited the firm well as she developed the attorney mentor-mentee training and professional development programs and continues to provide training sessions to attorneys and staff.
Even before Google and the Internet, Cheli had been fascinated by all kinds of research. For fun as a child, she often spent hours at her local public library researching everything from comets to wolves to the Korean War. In college, she was paired with a psychology professor who encouraged her to cultivate her research skills, which lead to several independent studies and an undergraduate thesis project in social psychology. During her teaching career, she investigated and designed resources to prepare children for the unfiltered media they unavoidably would experience with the onset of the Internet. This led to her being one of the founding members of the Alliance for a Media Literate America, now known as the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).
Cheli’s passion for legal research naturally flowed from her professional and educational experiences, and in her second year in law school, she earned a reputation as a strong legal researcher and writer when she discovered pivotal case law that changed the presumed outcome of a class assignment, surprising both the professor and the clerk of the state court of appeals who had written the assignment. Cheli’s work as a federal appellate attorney was predicted by her Civil Procedure professor, who was convinced Cheli would “grow up” to put her skills to use as a civil litigator.
When she is not researching or writing briefs, Cheli enjoys spending time with her children, running 5k and half marathon races, watching movies, and playing volleyball.
Area of Practice:
Social Security Disability
North Carolina Central University School of Law, Juris Doctor
The Ohio State University, Master of Education
The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Arts with distinction