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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Veterans Legal Practicum (Spring 2018)

  • Course Number: LAW-834
  • Class Number: 03588
  • Instructor: Laura Riley

Course Description

The Veterans Legal Practicum will combine substantive lectures with a skills practicum. The practicum will allow law students to hone their legal skills while providing free, quality representation to veterans of the United States Armed Forces in administrative proceedings.  Students will work directly with veterans on discharge upgrades, disability compensation appeals in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system, and other substantive legal matters. 

The course will be taught by Adjunct Professors Laura Riley and Dwight Stirling.  Professor Riley has worked on behalf of veterans at public interest non-profits.  Professor Stirling is a reserve judge advocate in the California Army National Guard and the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Veterans Legal Institute. Professors Riley and Stirling will discuss veterans-related issues and provide students with a foundation in administrative law, outlining the framework of handling matters in the VA and Department of Defense (DoD) bureaucratic systems. 

Students are expected to prepare and actively participate in class, as well as communicate regularly with the instructors regarding status of their cases.  Students will gain practical experience in administrative law by evaluating cases and drafting legal memoranda. 

Students will also have the opportunity to provide direct client services, draft and file briefs in the VA appellate system as well as in the DoD discharge review system.  

Students will be evaluated based on the quality of client representation, including knowledge of the applicable law, ability to develop and knowledge of relevant facts, initiative, professionalism, ability to identify issues and develop effective strategies, and class participation.



Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
  • Schedule: T/Th 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
  • Room Number: Room 118/120
  • Exam: None
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: Yes
  • Participation: Required and graded
  • Enrollment Limitation: 10 students