At O’Connor Law, associate attorney Vanessa Noel handles a variety of tasks related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims. She is responsible for client intake, preparing files, attending hearings, and answering questions clients may have about their cases. Above all, Vanessa is dedicated to fighting for the rights of individuals who have suffered workplace injuries or illnesses that have left them disabled and unable to return to work.
Advocating for Immigrants, the Disabled and the Elderly
As the daughter of Haitian immigrants, Vanessa learned the importance of advocacy at an early age. Although her parents could speak and write English, they did not have a native-level proficiency. As a result, she grew up speaking on their behalf at the grocery store, bank or wherever they were struggling to communicate. Her life experiences made her realize she enjoyed being able to help people in an immediate way—whether by filling out paperwork, translating a document, or speaking up for those who could not speak for themselves. Vanessa always showed an interest in law. Even as a child her favorite television show was and still is The People’s Court.
Vanessa attended Seton Hall University, earning her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a double minor in sociology and Africana studies. After graduation, she began the JD program at Florida Coastal School of Law—completing her last years as a visiting student at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University. As a law student, Vanessa completed internships with the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, Florida Coastal Immigrant Rights Clinic, and MFY Legal Services Division for Disability and Aging Rights.
Background in Working Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability
Despite being originally interested in immigration law, Vanessa takes great pride in using her skills to bring hope to O’Connor Law PLLC’s clients. She says the most rewarding part of her job is seeing clients who are facing severe hardships realize they finally have someone in their corner who can help them access the benefits they need to support themselves and their families.
Vanessa has been a part of the O’Connor Law PLLC team since 2013. She initially started as a legal assistant and was a paralegal before assuming her current role as an associate attorney. This range of experience has given her a broad understanding of how to best serve clients who are struggling with the effects of an on-the-job injury or a serious disability. She will happily pitch in wherever she’s needed—clients are often surprised when they call the office and Vanessa is the first to answer the phone!
Life Outside of Legal Work
When she’s not busy working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family. Her two young sons love to go to the park, bounce house, and amusement parks. On date nights, she likes to go to the movies, participate in Escape Games, and explore new restaurants with her husband.
Vanessa is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.—the largest African American women's organization in the world. She’s participated in a number of charitable events with her sisters, including walks for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.