Two Veterans Legal Clinic Students Win Scholarships to Judicial Conference
Third-year law students Polene Ghazarian and Camille Daley won scholarships to attend the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) 13th Judicial Conference in Washington, D.C. The scholarships were given by the CAVC Bar Association to 10 law students from across the country, based on a written essay or community service in the field of veterans law.
The CAVC conference attracts judges, lawyers and those interested in veterans law from across the country. The conference theme was “A New Generation of Veterans, A New Generation of Challenges.” The program addressed many of the challenging issues faced by veterans’ law practitioners as veterans of the current conflict pursue claims for benefits from the Veterans Administration. The program focused on the changing landscape of veterans law.
“Attending the 13th Judicial Conference for Court of Appeals of Veterans Claims was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Not only did I have the honor of learning about this emerging field of law from experts in the field, but I also had a unique opportunity to personally speak with Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor,” says Daley. “The conference provided me with valuable insight into how all members of the veterans law work together. It was interesting to hear from the General Counsel for Department of Veterans Affairs, the Board of Veteran Appeals and to hear from other private attorneys who represent veteran clients. From the panels and interactions between these differing bodies it became clear that we are all working for the same end goal: to provide for veterans. However, we differ in our approach and interpretation of the statutes that afford benefits to veterans.”
At the conference, the students were able to interact with a number of College of Law alumni, including R. Charles DiNunzio L’15, Sharmine Persaud L’89 and Emily Purcell L’09.
“The conference is an important learning experience for both current practitioners and those interested in the field of veterans law,” says Yelena Duterte, director of the Veterans Legal Clinic. “We were able to interact with peers involved in the benefits and claims process, which will help the clinic serve its clients.”