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About me

I began working on behalf of people with disabilities almost 30 years ago (Social Security cases in Philadelphia, health insurance regulation in Boston, OSHA appeal decisions in Washington, D.C.), long before I had a child with Down syndrome. Now I use my Yale and Notre Dame education, and years of Social Security Disability and Special Needs Trust experience, to guide claimants and families trying to stretch their income, savings, and government benefits to build the best life they can. 


Photos and videos

509310 1398106773

509310 1279140884

Practice areas


  1. Social Security: 50%
  2. Special Needs Trusts: 25%
  3. Guardianship: 25%



Contingent (25%), Fixed (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • William Joseph Balena

    Mary is my go to person for social security cases in Lorain County. She has great patience and a thorough knowledge of the law.


    William Balena Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Hickman & Lowder Co., L.P.A.

5062 Waterford Dr.
Sheffield Village, OH, 44035

Hickman & Lowder Co., L.P.A.

1300 E. 9th St.
Ste. 1020
Cleveland, OH, 44114



DCInactive 199305/24/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyRoose & Birmingham1996 - 1999
Volunteer AttorneyU.S. Congress - HWM - Social Secuirty Subcmte.1992 - 1992
Attorney AdvisorOccupational Safety & Health Review Commission1992 - 1996
AttorneyMassachusetts Division of Insurance1987 - 1991
AttorneySilver & Silver1985 - 1987
Association namePosition nameDuration
Dept. of Veterans AffairsAccredited2008 - Present
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar AssociationMember1996 - Present
Lorain County Bar AssociationMember1996 - Present
Natl Org Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR)Member1996 - Present
Publication nameTitleDate
Hickman-Lowder newsletterThe End2013
Hickman-Lowder newsletterStray Acorns2013
HIckman-Lowder newsletter"Expecting"2012
Hickman-Lowder newsletterCourage2012
Hickman-Lowder NewsletterFine Lines and Bright Lines2011
Connections - Hickman & Lowder newsletterThat's So Random2011
Law You Can Use - Ohio State Bar AssnSocial Security Disability: Rumor vs. Reality2010
Law You Can Use -- Ohio State Bar AssociationChildren & Adult Children with Disabilities: The Truth is Out There2010
Lorain County Bar AssociationSocial Security Disability & Special Needs2009
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Notre Dame Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1985
Yale UniversityEnglishBA - Bachelor of Arts1982
Hawken SchoolN/AHS1978
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Planting the Seeds for the FutureGovt Benefits, Special Needs Planning & Guardianship2014
Ashland County Board of Developmental DisabilitiesGovt Benefits, Special Needs Planning & Guardianship2014
Winter ConventionDisabled Adult Children2013
Elder Law InstituteSocial Security Benefits & Special Needs Planning2013
WorkshopSocial Security & SSI Benefits2012
Gray DivorceSocial Security Benefits2011
Ohio State Bar Association Elder Law InstituteSocial Security Benefits2009
National Autism Association, Northeast OhioSocial Security Disability Benefits2009
Past Speaking EngagementsSocial Security Disability BenefitsN/A