Widener Law presents conference on veterans law
Public Relations - Published: November 9, 2009
VetLawCLE2009v2Widener 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 Wednesday, Nov. 11 aimed at enhancing the skills of attorneys who want to represent veterans.

The Basic Veterans Law continuing legal education conference will be held on the school’s Delaware campus at 4601 Concord Pike 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom. Registration and continental breakfast run from 8 to 8:45 a.m.

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:
  • Taishoff Professor of Law Thomas J. Reed, the widely respected director of Widener’s Veterans Law Clinic and a professor at the School of Law.
  • John F. Nivala, professor of law at Widener University School of Law’s Delaware campus, where he is director of the Taishoff Advocacy, Technology and Public Service Institute.
  • Douglas J. Rosinski, of Ogletree Deakins in Columbia, S.C. and an adjunct professor and former director of the Veterans Clinic at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
  • Rebecca C. Patrick of Columbia, S.C., current director of the Veterans Clinic at the University of South Carolina School of Law and a former member of the U.S. Air Force JAG corps.
  • Craig Martin, an associate at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP in Wilmington, Del. and chair of the Delaware State Bar Association Veterans Law Committee.
Widener University was the among the first law schools 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 has since expanded the clinic with additional offices in Harrisburg, Pa. and Media, Pa.

The legal profession needs to be involved with the VA claim process,” said Reed, a key organizer of the upcoming conference, “because veterans and dependents need a lawyer’s guidance to get through the thicket of an appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals. Without our help they are likely to lose.”

The conference has been approved in Pennsylvania and Delaware for six continuing legal education credits, including one ethics credit. The registration cost for attorneys attending for credit is $250, or $200 for Widener Law alumni attorneys, and includes lunch. The event is free for students and members of the general public without conference materials or lunch.

For more information or to register, contact Constance Sweeney at 302.477.2177 or cmsweeney@widener.edu.

Widener is also making the program available to attorneys in central Pennsylvania using videoconferencing technology at the law campus, 3800 Vartan Way, Harrisburg. The cost to attend in Harrisburg, which includes program materials and lunch, is $100. Continuing legal education credits are not available to those who participate through videoconference, however it will certify them as veteran advocates – and enable them to appear before the Board of Veterans Appeals.

To participate on the Harrisburg campus, contact Sandra Graeff at slgraeff@widener.edu or 717.541.3965.