Attorneys learn valuable lessons on representing veterans
Public Relations - Published: December 5, 2007
vetlawcle2Nearly 50 people who gathered on Widener Law’s Delaware campus Nov. 30 were treated to a daylong program that dispensed helpful lessons and advice for attorneys who are new at representing veterans.

The Veterans Law continuing legal education conference allowed Widener to showcase its position as one of the country’s leading law schools offering services to veterans. Organized by Professor Thomas J. Reed, who directs Widener’s Veterans Law Clinic, the conference had a conversational tone with heavy audience interaction throughout. Reed’s approach allowed the expertise of the day’s speakers to shine through and enhance the skills of the attorneys who attended.

“This is wonderful training for young lawyers who want to move into personal injury law,” said speaker Richard R. James, Esq., of Richmond, Va., a nationally known authority on veterans law.

vetlawcle1Other speakers included Reed, Douglas J. Rosinski, of counsel to 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; R. Craig Martin, an associate with Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP; and Widener Law Professor John F. Nivala. Nivala led an hour-long discussion on ethical concerns of working in the VA system.

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 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 recently expanded the clinic services with the help of grants from the Pennsylvania Legislature and the Delaware State Veterans Commission.

Photo Captions:
1: Widener Law Professor Thomas J. Reed, director of the school's Veterans Law Clinic, second from right, speaks during the conference. Other presenters included, from left, R. Craig Martin, Douglas J. Rosinski and Richard R. James.

2: Widener Law Professor John F. Nivala speaks about ethics while panelists, seated from left, Douglas J. Rosinski and Thomas J. Reed, listen.