Patricia Roberts directs William & Mary Law School's Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic, a clinic she helped to create and support since its inception in 2008. As Director of Clinical Programs, she is responsible for managing eight clinics and a center at the law school, five of which are in-house programs started under her leadership. Patricia is newly appointed to the American Bar Association Commission on Veterans’ Legal Services, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium. She is an appointed member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Clinical Legal Education Committee, and was recently elected to the Virginia Law Foundation Fellows Class of 2016. She also serves as a member of Virginia’s Access to Justice Pro Bono Coordinating Consortium, and is a past Vice Chair of the Military & Veterans Health Law Task Force, Health Law Section of the ABA. In 2015 she was selected as one of the Influential Women of Virginia by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. She is the creator of Military Mondays, a program that provides advice and counsel to veterans in Starbucks’ locations across the country. Patricia regularly speaks and writes on veterans’ law topics, and provides training to attorneys and advocates working pro bono for veterans. She is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Randolph-Macon Woman's College and William & Mary Law School; she practiced law for eight years before returning to work at William & Mary.
David E. Boelzner
Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
Professor Boelzner practiced general litigation at Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia, from 1986 to 1990, and at Wright, Robinson, Osthimer & Tatum, also in Richmond, from 1990 to 2007, where he also started practicing veterans law in 2003. He continued this practice at Goodman Allen Donnelly PLLC from 2008 to 2016. Over more than twelve years, he represented hundreds of veterans in claims for benefits, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He submitted an amicus brief in support of a veteran’s petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. Several of his cases have resulted in precedential decisions of the CAVC, including Washington v. Nicholson and Tagupa v. McDonald.
Professor Boelzner serves on the Board of Governors of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association and co-edits the Veterans Law Journal, published by the Bar Association. He writes and speaks on a variety of topics in veterans law, particularly the statutory reasons-or-bases requirement and evidentiary development of veteran claims.
As an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, he taught Law Skills/Legal Writing from 2010 to 2013, contract drafting from 2014 to 2016, and a Veterans Law and Technology Practicum course from 2015 to 2016. In the latter, students developed a computer application for use by veterans or their non-lawyer representatives to assess the viability of benefits claims.
His law degree is from The University of Texas (Austin); his undergraduate and master’s degrees are both in music, as was his course work in a Ph.D program at the University of North Texas. Music remains a significant interest, with a primary focus on composition and piano.
Visiting Professor of Practice
Professor Tarloski recently completed a two-year Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellowship at Widener University School of Law’s Veterans Law Clinic, where she supervised students and worked on cases for veteran clients involving DIC, overpayments, benefits appeals, social security, discharge upgrades and driver's license issues. Professor Tarloski also has extensive experience with justice involved individuals through her work with incarcerated veterans, and the Criminal Record Expungement Project in Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law, and has her Master of Science, Gender, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Dr. Judith L. Johnson
Dr. Judith L. Johnson is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with specialty training in Health Psychology, military culture, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychological assessment. She received her Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago and completed her clinical internship and post-doctoral residency at the New Orleans V.A. Medical Center. Much of her work was with former Prisoners-of-War (POWs) and in documenting cognitive deficits and post-traumatic stress disorder related to their captivity experience. She has several books and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, and has lectured in the Middle East regarding POWS and PTSD. Currently, Dr. Johnson is the consulting Clinical Psychologist at the Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic, School of Law, College of William & Mary.
Adjunct Professor of Law
Professor Szymanski serves as an adjunct professor and supervising attorney of the William & Mary Law School's Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic. She is a former appellate attorney with the Bethesda, MD based firm of Bergmann & Moore. She previously served as a law clerk for Judge Robert N. Davis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and as a Judge Advocate with the U.S. Marine Corps. She is currently a Civil Affairs Officer for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
Professor Szymanski's experience in veterans law is extensive, having not only served in the military fo several years, but also having worked on veterans benefits claims, both from the perspective of the judiciary as well as from the viewpoint of a litigation attorney. During her tenure with Bergman & Moore, she represented clients with appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Her representation resulted in a high success rate for her clients. As a Judge Advocate with the U.S. Marine Corps. she traveled extensively providing legal training and support to Marine Corps units and commanders. Professor Szymanski, also having served as both a platoon and company commander, advised commanders on various legal matters including civil, administrative, and criminal law. Additionally, she advised senior officials on complex legal issues to ensure compliance with the laws of the United States, Executive Orders, international treaties, and other applicable federal regulations. She is also a former adjunct professor with the University of the District of Columbia's David A. Clarke School of Law.
Professor Szymanski is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Baccalaureate '99) and the University of San Francisco School of Law (JD '02). She serves as the President of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association, as well as provides pro bono legal assistance to incarcerated veterans. She credits her involvement in and passion for veterans law to her father, a former Marine who served during the Vietnam War and suffered his own battles while attempting to obtain benefits from the VA.
Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow
Caleb Stone is an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at William & Mary’s Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic. While at William & Mary Law, Caleb was a student in the Puller Clinic, PELE Special Education Advocacy Clinic, and Elder Law Clinic. He also worked for the William & Mary University Counsel and the Newport News Public Defender. Caleb was involved as a Senior Articles Editor on the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, a Civil Procedure Teaching Assistant for Professor Vivian Hamilton, a Student Bar Association Class Representative, and a Student Assembly Senator. He received his B.S. in Political Science from Kennesaw State University (summa cum laude) in 2011 and J.D. from William & Mary Law School (cum laude) in 2015, where he received the Benjamin Stoddert Ewell Award for outstanding leadership and public service.
Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow
Eleyse Charlotte D’Andrea graduated from William and Mary Law School in May 2015 and is now completing an Equal Justice Works Legal Fellowship at the Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic. For the next two years she will focus on prejudicial military discharge characterizations both by providing legal assistance to service members seeking discharge upgrades and by working with Judge Advocate Generals (JAGs) to improve the discharge process. Eleyse graduated from the University of Florida in 2009 (cum laude) with a B.S. in Health Science. While there, she focused on public health policy and psychology. She worked in a forensic psychology office at the University of Florida Shands Vista Florida Recovery Center where she conducted research on comorbidity of psychiatric disorders and substance abuse in impaired professionals. Eleyse’s academic background in health and psychology, along with her military family ties, made veterans benefits law a natural next step that she plans to continue pursuing after her fellowship.
Puller Clinic Legal Administrator
Diedra Cherry is the Legal Administrator for William & Mary’s Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic. Diedra served as a Staff Judge Advocate Paralegal and Legal Officer while on active duty in the U.S. Navy, completing tours in Sicily, England and Japan as well as the Hampton Roads area. She retired Honorably in 2015 and looks forward to serving her fellow veterans in the community. She received her B.S. in Paralegal Studies from University of Maryland University College in 2012.