Before arriving in Syracuse to pursue a master of laws degree, Carla Villarreal Lopez L’17 was already an experienced human rights lawyer. In her native Peru she served as a commissioner at the Ombudsman’s Office, as well as a professor…
Veterans Law Clinic Students Present to VA Decision Review Officer
On March 21, third-year law student Cecilia Santostefano and second-year law student Katie Becker, representing the College of Law’s Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC), each argued a case before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Buffalo Regional Office’s Decision Review Officer (DRO).
In the hearings, the students made opening statements, performed direct examination of the clients and witnesses, and made closing arguments. Although no decisions were made at the hearing, the DRO commended both students on their thorough presentations and on keeping the clients to the relevant fact and disputes at issue.
Says Professor Yelena Duterte, VLC Director, “I was particularly impressed by Cecilia and Katie’s command of the issues and facts. These cases can be dense, but the students laid the groundwork for the clients to tell their stories and give the DRO a better understanding of the client’s claim for disability benefits. Win or lose, the clients had quality representation by both of these law students.”