Meet The Social Security Disability Team
I firmly believe there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work. That’s why I prepare intensely for every case and never lose sight of what’s at stake. Behind every case is a person (or family) counting on me to win their benefits. That’s an awesome responsibility I don’t take lightly. The key to victory is often buried in piles of medical records and paperwork. You can trust I’ll work hard to find it.
WHAT CLIENTS SAY ABOUT ME
Client often say they arrived anxious but feel relieved after they meet with me. The SSD process is extremely complex, which adds stress to the already difficult situation of dealing with disability. My clients appreciate I take time to explain the process in detail. They say this transforms their anxiety into trust.
- Journalism, cum laude, Eastern Illinois University
- J.D., magna cum laude, Florida Coastal School of Law
- United States District Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- National Organization for Social Security Claimants Representatives (NOSSCR)
- State Bar of Arizona
Tye Smith received his bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Utah in 2006. While at the University of Utah, Tye worked at The Daily Utah Chronicle as a sportswriter and news editor while studying sports journalism.
After receiving his undergraduate degree, Tye realized the law was his true calling. Having competed as a highly ranked high school debater, he wanted to use his oratory skills to help individuals with legal needs. Tye graduated from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 2010, where he focused on criminal defense and social justice. During law school, he devoted time to assisting with criminal defense cases at the Maricopa County Public Defender’s office. He spent a summer working at the Public Defender’s office as an extern, and later devoted a full semester to the law school’s criminal defense clinic. He had a gnawing desire to help people, but he wasn’t sure criminal law was the right path for him.
After law school, Tye developed a special interest in federal disability law. That interest quickly grew into a passion for helping the disabled. Since that time Tye has practiced exclusively in the field of Social Security disability, an area of law he finds extremely rewarding. He has helped thousands of clients navigate the disability process.
Tye is admitted to practice law in the state of Arizona and is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR).
I was born in the great State of Arizona. Although I have lived in several states and countries, when it came time to settle down, I came back home to the cacti and sunshine.
I am not afraid of a challenge and have always welcomed a chance to learn and grow. As a young man I decided to challenge myself and grow in the best way I knew how and became a United States Marine. Throughout my tours of duty in the infantry I received multiple meritorious promotions, was an expert rifleman, and earned the rank of Sergeant.
While still serving in the Marine Corps, I took a two-year religious sabbatical. Those two years I devoted my life to the service of God and my fellow man as a missionary for my church. I served in British Columbia, Canada and traveled everywhere from Vancouver sharing the message with bikers, to Haida Gwaii sharing the good news with the Haida people. While on Haida Gwaii my companion and I were adopted into the local native band and given native names; mine means “talks a lot.” The friends I made I consider close family.
After the military I served in law enforcement and worked as a security contractor; this allowed me the time to obtain a bachelor’s degree in emergency services administration from Utah Valley University. Soon after I was married to the love of my life and decided upon a career change. I graduated Cum Laude with my J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in just two years instead of three. During school I externed at the Social Security Administration where I decided to devote my life to the service of people with disabilities.
I was admitted to practice law in the State of Arizona in 2021. Today I work at Ober Pekas Arizona Disability Attorneys. Here, I continue my life’s work as an advocate for those seeking Social Security Disability Benefits.
James received his Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University; a University Honors College student and Hope Scholarship recipient, graduating Cum Laude with a degree from the University’s School of Journalism & Strategic Media program.
He received his Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Law as a Dean’s Scholarship recipient. During his time at SLU James focused on the underrepresented individual, working with both private law firms and public organizations to provide civil legal services to the homeless and working poor. With a goal of broadening his experience, he worked in the Violent Crimes & Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force for the United State Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.
James obtained his license to practice law in Missouri and has seven years of experience working in the field of Social Security disability law. He prides himself on his team-first attitude and tireless work ethic. When he is not working, he can be found spending time with his lovely wife Meg.