2020 Veterans Clinic Symposium

View the symposium using the link on the Program page.

October 30, 2020


Since its inception in 2014, the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic has directly assisted over 140 veteran clients and referred many other veterans to other accredited attorneys or the Missouri Veterans Commission.

Each semester students, under the supervision of Angela Drake and Brent Filbert, review veterans’ military records and disability files, track down witness statements and work with doctors to secure medical opinions.

The clinic hosts an annual symposium focused on the issues facing today’s veterans, including traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

About the Veterans Clinic

Students in the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic help veterans and their families secure disability-related benefits. Student work is done primarily at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals level and before the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims, under the supervision of attorneys, Director Angela Drake​ ​and Clinical Director Brent Filbert.

Since its inception in 2014, the clinic has assisted over 600 veteran clients. Each semester, Professor’s Drake and Filbert oversee the work of fourteen or more students, as they review veterans’ military records and disability files, track down witness statements and work with doctors to secure medical opinions.

The clinic is run like a law firm, providing Mizzou Law students with an experience designed to prepare them for the practice of law while securing retroactive monetary benefits for our nation’s veterans.

If you have questions, please contact the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic at 573-882-7630 or email mulawvetclinic@missouri.edu.


This event is FREE, but registration is required for MoBar CLE credit.





To make a donation to the Veterans Clinic in support of our annual symposium and other programs, please click here.


To watch the symposium, click here. NOTE: fast forward to the 30-minute mark for the start of the symposium.

Full program PDF




Angela Drake

Angela Drake

Director and Supervising Attorney of the Veterans Clinic
University of Missouri School of Law

Angela K. Drake is the director and supervising attorney of the Veterans Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Law. She also teaches Trial Practice and Pretrial Litigation. She received her undergraduate degree from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. in 1982 and her law degree from the University of Minnesota School of Law in 1985.

After practicing complex and class action litigation, as well as insurance coverage and defense for more than 25 years, Prof. Drake followed her passion for public service by taking on the role of the Veterans Clinic’s first supervising attorney. As an Army Brat herself, she takes special joy in working with students to serve veterans and their family members seeking benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, and in her individual capacity as director of the clinic, Prof. Drake enjoys participating in amicus curiae briefing in cases that impact veterans. The clinic also hosts an annual symposium on Veterans Day, addressing timely issues such as post traumatic stress, military sexual trauma and traumatic brain injury.

Prior to her clinical work at the law school, Prof. Drake practiced law as a shareholder in the firm of Niewald, Waldeck and Brown in Kansas City and as a member of Lowther Johnson, LLC in Springfield, Mo.

Brent Filbert

Clinical Director and Supervising Attorney of the Veterans Clinic
University of Missouri School of Law

Brent Filbert is the clinical director and a supervising attorney at the Veterans Clinic at the University of Missouri School of Law. He has spent the last 30 years serving as an attorney in the military and in private practice. He served as appellate defense counsel and judge for the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. He also served as a prosecutor and defense counsel in military criminal trials and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Additionally, Prof. Filbert practiced as litigation counsel for Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, and was a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon as a litigation attorney on product liability and toxic tort cases.

Prof. Filbert is an undergraduate alumnus of Mizzou (with honors), and received his J.D. (with distinction) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is also a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College – College of Naval Command and Staff, and has an LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University School of Law. Prof. Filbert joined the Veterans Clinic out of his desire to train law students on how to successfully represent clients by assisting veterans on critical legal issues.

Col. (Ret.) John T. Clark

Colonel John Clark is a native of Columbia, Mo. He is an alumnus of Hickman High School, and graduated from the College of Engineering and Air Force ROTC at the University of Missouri in 1962. In his senior year he was cadet wing commander, graduated from ROTC as a distinguished military graduate, and received a regular Air Force commission in addition to his degree in mechanical engineering.

2nd Lt. Clark entered pilot training at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Tex., flying the T-37 and the T-33. After graduating from pilot training a distinguished flying graduate, he flew C-131 aeromedical evacuation aircraft out of McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. Having accumulating over 1,000 hours flying time he received an assignment to the RF-4C Combat Crew Training School at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. After graduation, he was assigned to Royal Air Force Base Alconbury, England, flying tactical reconnaissance missions in Europe. In October 1966 Col. Clark was reassigned to the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Udorn, Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand.

On March 12, 1967, the then Capt. Clark was shot down while on a flight over North Vietnam. He was captured and spent the next six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and was released on February 18, 1973.

Upon repatriation Capt. Clark joined his family in Columbia and enrolled in the College of Business at the University of Missouri through the Air Force Institute of Technology. Graduating with a master’s degree in business administration he went to Randolph Air Force Base, Tex., for recurrency and pilot instructor training in the T-38. Following that he held the positions of flight commander and chief of academics while instructing in the T-38 at Vance Air Force Base, Enid, Okla.

In 1977 he separated from active duty and was attached to the 131 Tactical Fighter Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, as a war plans and command and control specialist. He spent 15 years in the Missouri Air National Guard where he held the positions of chief of operations and maintenance of the 231 Civil Engineering Flight, commander of the 131 Civil Engineering Squadron, state director of operations for Air, and state plans and programs officer. For two years prior to his retirement from the Air National Guard in January of 1992, Col. Clark commanded the 231st Civil Engineering Flight, a specialized United States Air Forces in Europe gained Command Staff Augmentation Unit.

Col. Clark is a registered professional engineer in the State of Missouri and retired in January 2000 as the water engineer for the City of Columbia where he and his wife, Anne, now live.

He has been active in The American Ex-Prisoners of War organization holding the positions of Missouri state department commander, and national director for the North Central Region. He continued to be the Missouri state adjutant for the American Ex-Prisoners of War until the state department’s deactivation in September 2016. He is a member of Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler’s Military Advisory Council and sits on the advisory board of the POW-MIA Museum at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. He serves as the treasurer of the Mayor’s Task Force and the Friends of the USS Columbia, SSN 771, nuclear fast attack submarine.

Col. Clark’s military decorations and awards include among others the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Purple Hearts, the Meritorious Service Medal, six Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and two Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Crosses.

John Middleton

Psychological Operations Officer
Army Reserves

John Middleton is a second-year law student at the University of Missouri and is enrolled in the Veterans Clinic for the Fall 2020 semester. Apart from law school, Middleton is a psychological operations officer in the Army Reserves where he leads a Tactical PSYOP Detachment located at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. Prior to law school, John worked in Washington, D.C. for three years as a congressional staffer to Representative Billy Long and Representative Jason Smith.

Scotty Allen

General Counsel
Missouri Veterans Commission

Scotty Allen is the general counsel for the Missouri Veterans Commission in Jefferson City, Mo. Prior to joining the Veterans Commission, Allen was the managing attorney of the Military Legal Assistance Team of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the deputy general counsel of the Missouri Department of Social Services. He is a native of Springfield, Mo., and served in the Army and the Air Force on active duty, the reserves and national guard for 26 and a half years. He is a graduate of Missouri State University and Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.

Sen. Wayne Wallingford

Missouri Senate

Senator Wayne Wallingford, a Republican, represents Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, Scott and Wayne Counties (District 27) in the Missouri Senate. He was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2010 and the Missouri Senate in November 2012.

In addition to his legislative duties, Sen. Wallingford is the chief people officer at McDonald’s of Southeast Missouri. He previously spent 11 years with Taco Bell Corporation as a general manager, multi-unit manager, field staffing manager, field training coach and area coach.

Sen. Wallingford is a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Air Force. He served on active duty for 25 years, including five tours in Vietnam and six tours in Desert Storm/Desert Shield. He received the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, 21 Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal for Heroism and several other honors.

Sen. Wallingford is a member of Cape Bible Chapel, where he and his wife are active in church programs. He is a member of several local organizations and on the board of directors for the following organizations: United Way of Southeast Missouri, Habitat for Humanity, SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence, Boys and Girls Club, Community Counseling Center Foundation, Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Samaritan Regional Health Clinic, P-20 Education Council, Young Life, Seniors and Lawmen Together, Project Charlie, Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation-George Drouillard Chapter, and the National Federation of the Grand Order of Pachyderm Clubs.

Sen. Wallingford is a 1964 graduate of Geneva Community High School. He received a B.S. in business administration from the University of Nebraska, Omaha in 1968 and his M.A. in management supervision with a specialization in health care administration from Central Michigan University in 1983.

Born July 11, 1946 in Geneva, Ill., Sen. Wallingford currently resides in Cape Girardeau with his wife, Susan. They are the proud parents of London Jolliff and Brandon Scott Wallingford and the proud grandparents of Forest, Graeme, Emery, Carson, Brinleigh, Hadassah, Caleb and Noah.

Judge Robert N. Davis

Senior Judge
U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

Judge Robert N. Davis was appointed by President George W. Bush as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on December 4, 2004. He served as chief judge from October 9, 2016, until December 3, 2019.

Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Davis was a full tenured professor of law at Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, Fla. He joined the Stetson law faculty in August 2001 after teaching for 13 years at the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he was a tenured full professor. He has also held teaching positions at the University of South Florida, Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Memphis, and Washington and Lee University. He has taught in summer programs at the University of Hawaii; Downing College, England; and Concordia International University, Estonia; and has lectured at Makerere University School of Law in Uganda and at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Judge Davis has taught constitutional law, administrative law, national and international security law, alternative dispute resolution, counter-terrorism, and international and domestic sports law. He is the founder of the Journal of National Security Law and has held positions of leadership with the American Bar Associations’ Standing Committee on Law and National Security, the Federalist Society, and the American Association of Law Schools. He has written numerous articles on a variety of subjects, including a recent article published by the Texas Tech Law Review entitled: “Veterans Fighting Wars at Home and Abroad.” He has been a frequent commentator on television, radio, and newspapers regarding national security, terrorism, constitutional law, and elections issues. While teaching in Mississippi, he was appointed by the governor as a Mississippi Commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Judge Davis has extensive experience as an arbitrator and mediator with the American Arbitration Association. He was a mediator with the United States Postal Service and was an arbitration panel member with the United States Olympic Committee.

Judge Davis presides over the veterans court as a decorated Navy veteran. During his Navy career as an intelligence officer, Commander Davis took a variety of active duty assignments around the world, including assignments to Headquarters European Command 1991, Stuttgart, Germany; Mediterranean Deployment Aboard the USS America 1993; Joint Analysis Center 1994, Molesworth, United Kingdom, DOD Foreign Officer Exchange Program 2000, Papua, New Guinea; Joint Fleet Exercise USS Coronado 2001, San Diego, CA; National Security Agency in 1997, 1998 and 2000; a presidential recall in 1999 to Bosnia; recall to active duty after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, to the Joint Intelligence Directorate at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla.; and Joint Staff Response Cell in support of OEF and OIF, Pentagon, 2005-2007.

Judge Davis graduated from the University of Hartford, West Hartford, Conn., in 1975 and the Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., in 1978. He practiced as an appellate attorney for five years with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Washington, D.C. Judge Davis subsequently spent four years with the U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., in the business and administrative law division. Judge Davis also briefly served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia as part of a federal agency exchange program.

James Binns

Former Chairman
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illness

James Binns served from 2002 to 2014 as chairman of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses, a public advisory committee of doctors, scientists, and veterans established by Congress and appointed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Binns is a Vietnam veteran and served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy under President Ronald Reagan. He led two companies that manufactured ultrasound medical imaging equipment from start-up to merger with major corporations, as president of ADR Ultrasound, acquired by Squibb Corporation in 1982, and as chairman of Parallel Design, acquired by General Electric in 2000. Binns is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School.

Gregory Bier

Director, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities

Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, Office of Economic Development, University of Missouri

U.S. Army veteran Greg Bier grew up in St. Louis. He served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, company commander, landmine and explosives trainer, and staff officer within a wide variety of both combat engineer and special operations units in the United States and overseas. He deployed with the 18th Airborne Corps for the defense of Saudi Arabia as part of Desert Shield and fought with the 24th Infantry Division during Desert Storm. Following his return home, Major Bier remained in the military for several years until leaving to pursue graduate school in 1995. After completing his doctorate at Missouri University of Science and Technology he helped start the Humanitarian Demining Training Center, an organization that became a global leader in landmine and unexploded ordnance removal. He is also a mentor with the Venture Mentor Service in Columbia, Mo. Bier is the owner of the Eagle Cliff Company, LLC and co-owner of Raymond-Bier Holdings, LLC and Influence and Company, LLC. He is an active angel investor with both Funders Club and Centennial Investors. He is now the executive director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the University of Missouri.

Amy F. Odom

Appellate Attorney

Amy Odom is the appellate strategy coordinator for Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick, one of the nation’s leading law firms in veterans benefits law. Her law practice focuses on representing disabled veterans at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Amy graduated from the University of Florida with her B.A., cum laude, in 2003 and her J.D., cum laude, in 2006. During law school she participated in the moot court program, was an intern at the Center for Government Responsibility, and was an extern for the Honorable Stephan Mickle, Northern District of Florida. Prior to joining CCK in 2018, Amy served as a staff attorney and then as the director of litigation at the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). From 2006 to 2008, Amy was an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Extremely active in the field of veterans law, Odom has served as president of the CAVC Bar Association and on the USCAVC’s Judicial Advisory Committee. She is a member of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA). She was a panelist at the USCAVC Twelfth Judicial Conference in 2013 and the Fourteenth Judicial Conference in 2019. She was also a panelist at the NOVA Spring 2017 Conference. She is a credited author of the Veterans Benefits Manual 2009-2013 editions, and a credited editor of the 2014-2018/2019 editions. Odom has been a recurring speaker at the University of Missouri Veterans Clinic Symposium (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019).

In her free time, she enjoys spin classes on her Peloton, spending time with her two little girls and Navy vet husband, and taking annual family vacations to her home state of Florida.

Heather Brown

Strategic Partnership Officer
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

Heather Brown has worked for the Truman VA Hospital in a variety of positions for almost fifteen years. She began as a health benefits advisor, helping enroll veterans into the VA healthcare system. She worked as a details clerk, assisting veterans and their families with burial benefits and the contract nursing home program. She was then promoted to supervisor of health benefits. After a few years, she put her degree to work when she was appointed as the communications specialist for the facility. That position focused on the My HealtheVetonline patient portal, the facility’s external website, and social media communications.

She is currently the strategic partnership officer. In this role, she works to establish meaningful partnerships with outside organizations and businesses that enhance veterans’ experience with VA healthcare.

As a combat veteran (Iraq), Brown has a passion for helping her fellow veterans. Whether it is assisting them with enrolling in VA healthcare, answering questions about benefits, or finding resources in the community, no job is too small to help a fellow veteran.

Heather graduated from the University of Missouri in 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing. One of her short stories was published in an anthology of women writers, “POWDER.” In 2020 she was recognized as one of the 20 Under 40 in Columbia. She lives in Ashland with her husband Ryan and five-year-old son, Collin.

Randall Rogers, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

Randall Rogers, Ph.D., completed doctoral training in clinical health psychology and behavioral medicine at the University of North Texas. He completed a NIDA-funded postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology with emphasis in substance abuse treatment at the University of Vermont. For the past 12 years, Rogers has been a clinical psychologist at Truman VA. He was the director of substance abuse specialty services for nine years, prior to taking his current position as local recovery coordinator.











Symposium Materials

VA’s Victories in Serving POWs

Panel: A Briefing on Missouri’s Mission to Help Its Veterans

Verdict from the Bench

Panel: Performance Review – Is VA Complying with Congressional Directives Relating to Gulf War Veterans?

VA Healthcare’s Successes in Serving Veterans

Symposium Record of Attendance

Symposium Evaluation Form