Widener Law presents conference on veterans law
Published: November 9, 2008
VetCleAnnounce111408Widener Law will showcase its position as one of the country’s leading law schools offering services to veterans when the school presents a continuing legal education program Friday, Nov. 14 aimed at enhancing the skills of attorneys who represent veterans.

The Veterans Law continuing legal education conference will be held on the school’s Harrisburg campus at 3800 Vartan Way from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room A180 of the administration building. Registration and continental breakfast run from 8 to 8:30 a.m. The event will also be videoconferenced onto Widener’s Delaware campus, where attendees may participate fully.

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The day includes a host of speakers from legal practitioners to academics on topics ranging from a VA claim process overview to the ethical concerns that come from working in the VA system. Presenters include:
  • Douglas J. Rosinski, of Ogletree Deakins in Columbia, S.C. and an adjunct professor and director of the Veterans Clinic at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
  • Robert Chisholm, of Chisholm, Chisholm & Kirkpatrick LLP of Providence, R.I. He is past president of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association and past president of the National Organization of Veterans Advocates.
  • Craig Martin, an associate at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP in Wilmington, Del. and chair of the Delaware State Bar Association Veterans Law Committee.
  • John F. Nivala, professor of law at Widener University School of Law’s Delaware campus, where he is director of the Advocacy & Technology Institute.
  • Professor Thomas J. Reed, the widely respected director of Widener’s Veterans Law Clinic and a professor at the School of Law.
Widener University was the first law school in the United States to start a clinical program for disabled veterans. First known as the Veterans Assistance Program, the school began its work under Reed’s direction in 1997 by co-sponsoring a program with the pro bono arm of the Delaware State Bar Association, to assist disabled veterans and their dependants with VA compensation claim appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals. The program became known as the Veterans Law Clinic in January 2006 although student interns – working as attorneys on behalf of indigent veteran clients – have been a part of the program since its start. The law school expanded the clinic services into Harrisburg last year with the help of grants from the Pennsylvania Legislature.

“There is no more fulfilling or patriotic civic service I can think of as an attorney than representing the interests of veterans who simply want the benefits to which they are entitled,” said Reed, a key organizer of the upcoming Harrisburg conference. “This program will allow Widener to share its knowledge of veterans law and our wealth of contacts on the subject with people who want to learn more about the veterans claim process.”

For practicing attorneys in Pennsylvania and Delaware, in-person attendance at the program on the Harrisburg campus will yield 6.5 continuing legal education credits, including one ethics credit. Practicing attorneys who participate via videoconference from the Delaware campus are also eligible to receive Delaware continuing-legal education credits. The registration cost for attorneys attending for credit is $250, or $200 for Widener Law alumni attorneys. The event is free for students and members of the general public.

For more information or to register to attend the in-person program on the Harrisburg campus, contact Sandra Graeff at 717.541.3965 or slgraeff@widener.edu. For information or to register to attend the videoconferenced program on the Delaware campus, contact Constance Sweeney at 302.477.2177 or cmsweeney@widener.edu.