is now known as American Disability Law. We look forward to serving you.

About Stephanie Lake, Esq.

Stephanie Lake is one of the few disability attorneys in the Phoenix area fluent in Spanish.


American Disability Law founder Stephanie Lake is a Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability Law. Her legal career began in 1988, handling corporate litigation cases for a major Arizona law office. Building on that successful court case foundation, she founded the Law Offices of Stephanie Lake in 1992, focusing exclusively on Social Security law and earning a reputation as the most successful woman-owned disability law firm in the Southwest.

In 2019, the firm was renamed American Disability Law to reflect the expansion of the legal team.

Ms. Lake is board certified by The National Board of Trial Advocacy in Social Security Disability by virtue of a rigorous education, testing and approval process that officially recognizes the extensive education and courtroom experience of qualifying attorneys. In addition to her work with clients, Ms. Lake has lectured extensively on Social Security disability issues including fibromyalgia, HIV, Children’s Rehabilitation Services, and Sjogren’s syndrome.

J.D., University of Michigan Law School
B.A., University of Michigan

Professional Associations
Federal Bar Association (1988–present)
National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR)
Social Security Advocates of Phoenix (past president)

Pro Bono Work
HIV AIDS Law Project
Social Security Disability Clinics
Arizona Land & Water Fund

About Joseph J. Duerst, Esq.


Joseph Duerst grew up in Bend, Oregon, where he worked as a legal assistant for his father, Jonathan Duerst, an attorney. During law school, Mr. Duerst focused on litigation and interned at the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office in St. Louis, MO, where he obtained the highest pro bono distinction while litigating DUI license revocations and working on a murder prosecution.

After earning his law degree, Mr. Duerst became licensed in Arizona and joined American Disability Law (then known as the Law Offices of Stephanie Lake) in 2013. He represents our clients at all stages of the Social Security disability process, with a focus on winning their cases quickly and maximizing the amount of the money they receive. Joseph reviews potential clients’ cases and provides legal advice about the disability process and how to get benefits granted quickly. He works closely with Stephanie Lake and the legal team to create and improve strategies for winning cases. Over the years, he has represented our clients in more than 1,000 disability hearings, winning the majority of his cases. He also handles many of the administrative projects, including working to reduce medical records costs—which has saved our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.

J.D., Arizona State University – Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, with additional studies at Monash University School of Law in Tuscany, Italy
B.A., Oregon State University

Professional Associations
National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR)
U.S. Supreme Court Bar
Federal Court Bar