2021 Veterans Clinic Symposium

Register for the free 2021 Symposium on the Registration tab.

October 29, 2021


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 Julia Rives, 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, Co-Directors Angela Drake​ and Julia Rives.

Since its inception in 2014, the clinic has assisted over 600 veteran clients. Each semester, Professor’s Drake and Rives oversees 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.


Registration is FREE for the 2021 Veterans Clinic Symposium. Lunch will be provided. Please register so we know how many meals to provide.




Watch Livestream of Symposium Here

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


Angela Drake

Co-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.

a photo of julia rives

Julia Rives

Co-Director of the Veterans Clinic
University of Missouri School of Law

Julia Rives recently joined the Veterans Law Clinic as the new Clinical Director under Angela Drake and she is also an associate professor of law at the University of Missouri School of Law. Professor Rives grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended the University of Missouri and received her Bachelor of Science in 2013 in agriculture.

After graduating, she was awarded the Tim Heinzs scholarship to attend the University of Missouri School of Law. While in law school, she interned for the Honorable E. Richard Webber, and served as a Rule 13 law student for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Veterans Clinic. She worked on several veterans’ disability compensation cases as a law student for the Veterans Clinic, including two military sexual trauma claims.

Professor Rives received her JD in 2016 and was awarded the Order of the Coif and the Order of Barristers. She was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 2016 and the Kentucky Bar in 2017. During her first year as an attorney, Professor Rives became accredited with the Veterans Administration and served as a law clerk for the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District in St. Louis.

She then worked for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office as an assistant attorney general. In her time with the Attorney General’s office, Professor Rives successfully defended more than 200 appeals on behalf of the State and successfully argued before the Supreme Court of Missouri four times. Professor Rives also successfully prosecuted two criminal jury trials that resulted in verdicts of guilty on all counts. In 2019, Professor Rives was selected to be the first Supreme Court Fellow under Attorney General Eric Schmitt. In 2020, Professor Rives was awarded the David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award for her outstanding appellate advocacy work for the State of Missouri.

Mel Bostwick

Mel Bostwick is a partner of the firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice. Her practice focuses on high-stakes appeals, with a particular emphasis on patent appeals before the Federal Circuit.

Mel’s practice capitalizes on two of her passions: technology and great writing. As an appellate lawyer, she has the opportunity to help companies protect their innovations and their intellectual property. She is adept at translating complex technology and intricate legal issues into a clear and simple presentation that judges of any background can understand. Mel brings these skills to bear in representing clients on appeal to the Federal Circuit and before the Supreme Court, and also in partnering with trial teams to address legal and strategic problems in district court, the ITC, and the PTAB. She also regularly advises technology clients on difficult IP and strategic issues facing their companies.

Mel also has the privilege of representing pro bono clients and is particularly passionate about using her Federal Circuit experience to help veterans in their appeals to the court.

Prior to joining Orrick, Mel was an associate at a litigation boutique in Washington, D.C., where she represented clients in trial and appellate litigation and before the Federal Communications Commission. Mel served as a law clerk to Judge Timothy B. Dyk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Amy Odom

Appellate Strategy Coordinator at Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick’s Veterans Law Practice

Amy is the Appellate Strategy Coordinator in Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick’s Veterans Law practice. Amy’s 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, 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, Amy 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). Amy 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. Amy has been a recurring speaker at the University of Missouri Veterans Clinic Symposium (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020). 

In her free time, Amy 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.

Amy Kretkowski

Professor of Veterans Benefits Law
University of Iowa College of Law

Amy Kretkowski is a veterans law attorney in private practice in Iowa City, IA, and an Adjunct Professor of Veterans Benefits Law at the University of Iowa College of Law. She is also a mentoring attorney with the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program; Chair of the Rules Advisory Committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; Co-Chair of the Veterans Work Group of Iowa’s Access to Justice Commission; a member of the Military Affairs Committee of the Iowa State Bar Association; and a member of NOVA’s Congressional Testimony and Outreach committees.

Ms. Kretkowski has taught CLE programs for Iowa Legal Aid and conducts annual training for various veterans service groups in Iowa and around the country. She has presented at several NOVA conferences and the CAVC’s2019 and 2016 Judicial Conferences. Ms. Kretkowski began her career in veterans’ law in 2009 as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Mary J. Schoelenon the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

She received her J.D., with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law, and her B.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Before moving to Iowa to study law, Ms. Kretkowski spent 18 years as an independent writer/producer for television in New York and Los Angeles. She lives in Iowa City with her husband Paul and an emotionally unstable husky mix named Ruckus.

Barton F. Stichman

Special Counsel to the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP)

Barton F. Stichman is Special Counsel to, and prior to July 2021 served as Executive Director of, the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), a nonprofit veterans service organization that he helped found in 1981. After earning law degrees from New York University School of Law (J.D. 1974) and Georgetown University Law Center (L.L.M 1975), he has devoted his entire legal professional career to assisting service members, veterans and their families receive the federal benefits to which they are entitled.

Over the last 46 years, Mr. Stichman has represented veterans and their families before U.S. district courts, U.S. courts of appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Department of Veterans Affairs, military department discharge review boards and boards for correction of military records. His litigation efforts have resulted in payment of more than $5.2 billion dollars in federal disability, death, and health care benefits to hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans and their families.

A major part of NVLSP’s mission is to increase the pool of effective advocates available to represent veterans and their family members by training lawyers and non-lawyers and providing educational publications to them in veterans benefits law. Over his career, Mr. Stichman has trained thousands of lawyers, non-lawyer accredited veterans service officers, and law students in this area of law. Mr. Stichman helped establish and served for decades as a trainer for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, a federally funded organization which has recruited and trained more than 4,000 volunteer attorneys to represent those who have appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims without a representative.

Mr. Stichman is a co-author of The Veterans Benefits Manual, NVLSP’s 2200-page treatise on veterans benefits law that is published annually by Lexis Law Publishing and has been distributed to thousands of veterans service officers and lawyers. He is also a co-author of “Not Reasonably Debatable”: The Problems with Single-Judge Decisions by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, 27 STANFORD LAW & POLICY REVIEW 1 (2016); The Rights of Military Personnel, and NVLSP’s Military Discharge Upgrade Manual. Mr. Stichman has written articles on veterans benefits law appearing in the Administrative Law Review, The American University Law Review, The Federal Bar News and Journal, Clearinghouse Review, and the Legal Times.

Mr. Stichman is a member of the Judicial Advisory Committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and is a past president of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association.

Cpt. David A. Rogers

Captain David A. Rogers is an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate for the 92d Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The Wing provides global reach airpower and deploys expeditionary forces in support of worldwide combat, contingency, and humanitarian requirements.  The Wing operates 63 KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft that perform refueling, airlift, and aeromedical evacuation missions, supporting U.S. and coalition contingency operations as well as USSTRATCOM’s strategic deterrence mission. The legal office provides support to a base population of 11,883, housing 18 organizations, including the 336th Training Group, which is home to the U.S. Air Force Survival Evasion Resistance Education (SERE) School.

Capt Rogers received his commission in May of 2019 through ROTC DET 440.  During law school, he was on Law Review, the Board of Advocates, and worked for the Equal Education Law Centre in Khayelitsha, South Africa.  Before entering Active Duty, he was an attorney with the MU Veterans Law Clinic. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Missouri and Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.

Ltg. (Ret.) Richard C. Harding

Lieutenant General (3 stars) Richard C. Harding served for more than 34 years in the United States Air Force until retiring in 2014. He was awarded a direct commission in the Air Force as a judge advocate (military lawyer) following his graduation from the University of Arkansas Fulbright School of Political Science in 1975 and graduation from the University of Arkansas Law School in 1979.   

During his Air Force service, General Harding served as a mission controller for a fighter aircraft squadron, the chief of acquisition for a combatant command, the commander of a Department of Air Force Agency, the lead legal counsel for two wing commanders, the senior legal counsel for the Commander of 8th Air Force, the senior legal counsel for the Commander of Air Force Space Command, the senior legal counsel for the Commander of Air Combat Command, and the senior legal counsel for the Commander of United States Strategic Command. In his last active duty position in the Air Force, President Obama appointed (and the United States Senate confirmed) General Harding to serve a statutory four-year term as The Air Force Judge Advocate General stationed at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. In that role, he served as the legal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force, the Air Force Chief of Staff, and all Air Force officers thereunder. He professionally supervised 4400 Air Force attorneys, judges, paralegals, and civilian personnel in providing legal services to over 90 Air Force worldwide locations. He also served on the Air Force Corporate Board, making resource decisions regarding billions of dollars in national defense purchases. General Harding has traveled extensively overseas and in combat zones to advise commanders on the international law of armed conflict and their obligations. In his last few years on active duty, General Harding created the highly successful “Special Victims’ Counsel Program,” which provides free attorneys to victims of military sexual assault and which Congress passed into law and was adopted throughout the Department of Defense.     

Upon retirement, General Harding and his wife, Linda, elected to leave Washington, D.C. and move to Columbia, Missouri, to be close to their children and young grandchildren. General Harding travels throughout the United States teaching continuing legal education programs for the Professional Education Group on the subjects of the law of armed conflict, ethics and contemporary constitutional law. He also serves as a trustee for Columbia College and an advisory board member with the National Crime Victims’ Law Institute.

Cpt. Jeneal Murphy

CPT Jeneal Murphy is an attorney in the U.S. Army JAG Corps. CPT Murphy attended Ouachita Baptist University where she majored in Psychology, Russian, and French and graduated in May 2015. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law in May 2019. During law school, she interned at the FBI, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, and the law firm of Haden & Colbert. CPT Murphy also had the privilege of serving the veterans in the Veteran’s Clinic.

CPT Murphy began her career with the Army in January 2020. She started out as an administrative law and national security law attorney at the 7th Infantry Division Headquarters on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. She also spent several months serving as a military magistrate. CPT Murphy recently began duties as a Military Justice Advisor for the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade also located on Joint Base Lewis- McChord.  In her free time CPT Murphy enjoys hiking and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her golden retriever, Enzo.

Joe Neely

Partner at Behr, McCarter, Potter, Neely & Hyde, PC

Joe Neely is currently a partner at Behr, McCarter, Potter, Neely & Hyde, PC in St. Louis. Prior to joining the firm, Joe worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent focusing primarily on counterterrorism. He also was a member of the Bureau’s specialized evidence collection unit, the Evidence Response Team. His work for the FBI covered a variety of cases from weapons of mass destruction and bank robberies to domestic and international terrorism. Prior to working for the FBI, Joe served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps as a Judge Advocate. Joe worked as both a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor, deployed to Guantanamo Bay and Romania, and was awarded the ABA’s Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award for the Marine Corps in 2016. Joe is currently serving as a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserves in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate for the 4th Marine Division.

​Joe received his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan in 2009 and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri in 2006 with a B.S.B.A. with emphases in finance and banking and real estate finance. Joe was born and raised in Belleville, Illinois and attended St. Louis University High School.

​Joe and his wife, Maria, together with their children, Penelope and Jack, reside in Webster Groves.

Lt. Larissa D. Tiller

LT Larissa D. Tiller has been assigned to Legal Service Command (Norfolk Office) since January 2020. She serves as a Command Advisor in the Command Services Branch of the LSC. Her primary responsibilities include providing legal advice to a variety of client commands within the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (DCMS) enterprise. Among other things, LT Tiller advises on administrative investigations, nonjudicial punishments, military protective orders, search authorizations, and military justice matters, while also serving as the Contingency Response Officer for the entire CG JAG program.

Before the LSC, LT Tiller worked as a legal research assistant at the University Of Missouri School Of Law Veterans Clinic. During the summer of 2018 she was an intern at the District Eight Legal Office in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Her personal awards include the Roscoe Anderson Award for Excellence in Advocacy and the CALI Award for Excellence in American Legal History from 1876. She has been published in the ABA Health Journal and has also been published in a national law journal. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Missouri. 

Individual military awards include the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device. 

She has a long-term boyfriend who is also an attorney and lives with her in their home in Norfolk.

Cpt. Sergio Tarin

CPT Sergio Tarin is an administrative law attorney at the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss. CPT Tarin’s prior military occupation specialties include Adjutant General and Field Artillery in the Texas Army National Guard. CPT Tarin received his J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law, an M.A. and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Texas at El Paso. He is married to Lucero and has two pets, kitty girl and Frida.


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