Veteran’s Clinic Symposium

Judgment and Courage

The Role of Attorneys in Critical Military and Veterans Issues


This year’s Symposium will examine some of the most dramatic and troubling legal questions faced by military and veterans’ lawyers in recent history. Presenters will explain their strategies and decisions in several fascinating cases with far-reaching consequences for our nation.

From ethics issues arising out of the 9/11 tragedy and the death penalty cases pending in Guantanamo Bay to the recent Supreme Court decisions exploring the parameters of federal benefits law, our speakers will inspire advocates to zealously represent their clients’ interests at every turn.

Many veterans who prepared for and served in conflicts from WWII to the current Global War on Terror are in need of legal help.  We cordially invite you to attend the Veteran Clinic’s Sixth Annual Symposium to hear and learn from those advocates who have been in the trenches and secured tremendous results for our nation’s military and veteran community.

ABA President Linda Klein: “America’s lawyers should serve those who have served”

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All events will be held in Hulston Hall, Room 7, on the University of Missouri campus.

Continuing Legal Education Credit

This symposium is approved for 6.2 hours of mandatory continuing legal education credit in the state of Missouri, including 1.0 hours of ethics credit.


Cost and Registration

The symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is requested, but not required.


If you have questions, please contact the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic at 573-882-7630 or email

Symposium Program

November 8, 2019
Tentative Program Schedule
9:00 a.m.Ethics Hour – A Military Injustice

Clinical Director Brent Filbert and Brigadier General John Baker will discuss issues arising during the representation of Guantanamo Bay detainees, charged with the 9/11 attacks, including the government’s recording of attorney-client conferences. These attorneys have first-hand knowledge of the situation, as recently reported in the November 2018 ABA Journal.

10 a.m.Counseling During Terror and Protecting Trauma Victims

Retired Judge Advocate General of the Air Force, Richard Harding will discuss his work on 9/11 and his role advising President Bush that day, as well as his development of the requirement for the appointment of victim’s counsel in trials. This requirement is now federal law, applicable to all service branches

11 a.m.Advocating In the Light of Tragedy

Larry McMullen, Christina Pyle, and Michael Raupp from Husch Blackwell will discuss the groundbreaking work in the Draughon case in which parents of a veteran who committed suicide successfully asserted a Federal Torts Claims Act claim against the Department of Veterans Affairs.

12 p.m.Complimentary Lunch – Buckingham’s Barbecue
Keynote Presentation – “Doing Well by Doing Good”

Attorney Amy Kretkowski will speak about her positive experiences growing her veterans’ benefits practice by sharing her talents on a pro bono basis. This will be a lively and inspiring hour, delivered by a popular speaker in the veterans’ advocates world.

1 p.m.We’re in the Supreme Court!

Attorneys from NOVA (Ken Carpenter) and Attig Steel (Alexandra Curran) will discuss the veterans’ cases that reached the highest levels of adjudication, including the Supreme Court, and the role of zealous advocacy in enforcing veterans’ benefits law in keeping with the pro-veteran, non-adversarial federal statutory scheme. Moderated by Angela Drake, Esq.

2 p.m.Change Agents

Veterans and advocates face errors in adjudication in the VA benefits system daily. Amy Odom and Courtney Ross of Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick, will discuss their take on the issues advocates will need to be on the lookout for in the future, to ensure the law is enforced and positively developed for veterans. Moderated by Angela Drake, Esq.

Speaker Bios

Angela Drake

Angela Drake

Director of the Veterans Clinic and Instructor
University of Missouri School of Law

Professor Angela Drake is the director of the Veterans Clinic and instructor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Before joining the law school, she practiced law for more than 25 years in in the areas of complex and class action litigation and insurance coverage and defense. She was a shareholder in the firm of Niewald, Waldeck and Brown in Kansas City, where she practiced for 18 years. She then became a member of Lowther Johnson, LLC, located in Springfield, Mo. In the course of her practice, Professor Drake represented individual and corporate clients in jury trials, bench trials and appellate proceedings in both federal and state court.
Professor Drake received her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., in 1982 and her JD from the University of Minnesota in 1985.
At the School of Law, Professor Drake teaches Insurance Law, Pretrial Litigation and Trial Practice.

Amy Odom

National Litigation Director
National Veterans Legal Services Program

Amy F. Odom is the director of litigation for the National Veterans Legal Services Program. In this role, she represents veterans and survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and other federal courts. She also trains, develops and supervises other NVLSP staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys. With respect to pro bono attorneys, her supervision is provided through NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® program, as well as the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.
Ms. Odom has served as the treasurer of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association and as vice-chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Veterans Affairs Committee. She has spoken on matters related to veterans disability benefits on several occasions, including as a panelist with expertise in disability ratings for orthopedic conditions during the Twelfth Judicial Conference of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and as an expert on VA benefits for disabilities caused by military sexual trauma during the University of Missouri’s School of Law Veterans Clinic Symposium in 2014. Her publications include contributions to the 2011 and 2012 editions of the veterans affairs chapter of the American Bar Association’s Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, as well as to several editions of NVLSP’s Veterans Benefits Manual.
Ms. Odom is a graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2006), where she competed on the school’s moot court team and served as a public interest fellow with the Center for Government Responsibility. Ms. Odom also earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida (B.A., Political Science, cum laude, 2003).

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 an attorney, Director Angela Drake.

Since its inception in 2014, the clinic has assisted 45 veteran clients. Each semester, Drake oversees the work of eight 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

Platinum Ribbon Sponsor

Gold Ribbon Sponsor

Other Sponsors

Parking for the Symposium

Free parking is available in Lot K, on the south side of the Hearnes Center on Stadium Blvd. To access, turn south off of Stadium Blvd. onto Mick Deaver Memorial Dr., next to the football stadium. Follow to the stop sign and turn left on Champions Dr. You will see the lot on your left; make your next left to access it. Please see the map provided.

Download campus map with directions (.pdf)

Our mini-van shuttle will pick up guests on the edge of the lot next to the building. Look for the A-Frame style “Shuttle Service” sign with our event poster.