Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD attorneys Amy Odom and Maura Clancy attended a two-day Continuing Legal Education conference hosted by the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law in Missoula, MT on March 20th-21st.
About the Conference
The Veterans Law Continuing Education program at the Blewett School of Law provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about VA benefits and appeals, military discharge upgrade issues, and other important issues for veterans, including military toxic exposure and veterans treatment courts. Sessions offered both foundational and advanced instruction through presentations and panels on topics important for all service providers assisting veterans with legal issues. The conference also included a focus on tribal veterans services and a roundtable discussion regarding the needs of veterans within Indian country, in line with the school’s specialty program discussed more below.
Amy Odom – Veterans Law Basics
CCK attorney Amy Odom presented on a panel about Veterans Law basics alongside Chief Judge Robert Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and Ken Walsh with the Office of General Counsel at VA. Attorney Odom was there in her capacity as President of the United State Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association. During the panel, she covered the following topics:
- Organization of VA: Administrative System and Judicial Review
- Representation Before VA
- Fact Investigation
- Veteran Eligibility
- VA Benefits: Pension and Compensation
- Establishing Entitlement to Disability Compensation
- Entitlement to Pension Benefits
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Maura Clancy – Service-Connected Benefits: Claims, Legacy Appeals, and the New Appellate Process
CCK attorney Maura Clancy attended the conference in her capacity as an officer of the Federal Bar Association. While there, she presented on the VA appeals system and how to navigate the transition from old to new; that is, the Legacy appeals system to the recently implemented Appeals Reform or AMA system. Attorney Clancy highlighted the differences between the two systems and how these changes impact both veterans and veterans’ advocates when appealing unfavorable decisions from VA. The presentation also included a brief review of the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program, otherwise known as RAMP, which existed as a pilot program prior to the full implementation of Appeals Reform.
Alexander Blewett III School of Law: Veterans Law Continuing Legal Education
Located in Missoula, Montana, the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana has been a leader in legal education, with a strong commitment to practical training, for more than a century. The Blewett School of Law integrates theory and practice throughout the curriculum, with experiential learning incorporated into every practice area and specialty program, including Environmental Law and Natural Resources, Indian Law, and Conflict Resolution.