Puller Clinic In the News


June 5 - Professor David Boelzner spoke to Diverse Issues in Higher Education about the Puller Clinic's online Certificate in Military and Veterans Health, Policy and Advocacy. Read more.

Spring - The spring edition of PreLaw Magazine took note of the Puller Clinic's Military Mondays program in a feature story about practical training opportunities in legal education.  Go to page 38 of the spring edition.

April 4 - The Law School ranks number one among law programs on the 2018-2019 list of Top 10 Military Friendly® Graduate Schools, Victory Media announced on April 4. The Law School ranks fifth overall among graduate schools on the new list that will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine. This is the third time in a row that the Law School has made the Top 10 list. Read more.


Our thanks to our alumnus Paul Clifford '74. He recently sponsored a hole during a charity golf event hosted by the Command Museum and Foundation at the Marine Corps Recruitment Depot in San Diego. As the photo shows, the hole was dedicated to our Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic!
Summer 2017: Our thanks to our alumnus Paul Clifford '74. He recently sponsored a hole during a charity golf event hosted by the Command Museum and Foundation at the Marine Corps Recruitment Depot in San Diego. As the photo shows, the hole was dedicated to the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic!


December 20 - William & Mary Law School has been ranked fifth among Top 10 Military Friendly® graduate schools in Victory Media’s GI Jobs and Guide to Military Friendly® Schools. The School was ranked sixth among graduate schools in 2017. William & Mary is the only law school in Virginia to receive a 2018 Military Friendly® School designation, and is ranked first among law schools receiving the 2018 designation. Read the story.

November 13 - Professor and Vice Dean Patricia Roberts, president of the board of the NLSVCC and co-director of the Puller Clinic, quoted in news about recent agreement signed with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: “By working together, law school clinics serving veterans are training law students to be skillful and ethical attorneys who understand our nation’s responsibility to care for our veterans.” Read the press release.

July 2- Professor Patricia Roberts and Professor David Boelzner of the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic were quoted at length about the VA claims process by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in a story about a local veteran and his struggle to receive disability benefits for service-related PTSD. Read the story ("Richmond-Area Veteran with PTSD Struggles Against VA System to Receive Benefits").

May 22 - Read a Q&A with Caleb Stone, the Puller Clinic's Equal Justice Works Americorps Legal Fellow, in the WalletHub story titled "Best & Worst States for Military Retirees."

May 1 - William & Mary debuted a short video about Miltary Mondays on YouTube. Watch the video.

Spring - Military Mondays was featured as the cover story of the spring issue of the William & Mary MagazineRead the story, "The Pro Claimers: William & Mary and Starbucks Share a Cup with Veterans."

March 7 - The Florida Record referenced the Puller Clinic and quoted Professor Patricia Roberts in an article titled "Stetson Law Students Help Veterans Navigate VA." Read the story.

February - In related news, G.I. Jobs magazine ranked the Law School 6th among its "Top 10 Military Friendly Graduate Programs" in its February 2017 issue.  Open .pdf of magazine rankings page.

February 4 - The ABA Journal quoted Professor Patricia Roberts, director of the Puller Clinic, in the story, "How Lawyers Can Increase Veterans' Access to Legal Services." Read the story.

January 10 - Newsmax.com quoted Professor Patricia Roberts, director of the Puller Clinic, in a story titled "Trump's Plan to Reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs." The article also takes note of the recently formed National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium. Read the story


December - The AALS Clinical Section newletter took note (see page 6) of the new National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium and listed the Puller Clinic as among the organization's founding members. Read the newsletter.

December 2 - Visiting Professor of the Practice Elizabeth Ann Tarloski has a post on the Best Practices for Legal Education blog titled "The Voices We Can't Hear: How Student Debt Helps Maintain the Status Quo." Read the post.

November 11 - Professor Patricia Roberts serves as chair of The National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium, which was announced on Veterans Day. Read the press release.

November 11 - During the Law School's annual Veterans Day Observance, Virginia State Senator-Elect Monty Mason read from a Virginia House of Delegates Resolution commending the clinic for outstanding service to veterans. Professor Patricia Roberts, director of Clinical Programs and director of the Puller Clinic, presented Mason and R. Scott Herbert J.D. ’19 with clinic challenge coins. Read the story.

November 11 - 3L Raymond Bilter was recently accepted into the Navy JAG program. He was quoted in a U.S. News & World Report story titled "5 Traits for Would-Be Military Lawyers." Read the story.

November 11 - 1L Scott Herbert, a Marine Corps veteran, was profiled in a Daily Press story, which includes an excerpt from his GoFundMe page.  Read the story. His summertime hike of the Appalachian Trail, which raised more than $4,000 for the clinic through his GoFundMe page and other efforts, was the subject of a Law School story. Read the story.

September 22 - Visiting Professor Elizabeth Tarloski talked to ABC News Norfolk about the sexual assault of men in the military. Watch the video.

July 21 - Professor Patricia Roberts was quoted in an American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) press release titled " ACTL Challenges as Unconstitutional Long Delays in Veterans' Appeals for Benefits." Four of the Puller Clinic’s long-term clients, who have each been waiting years for their appeals, are part of ACTL’s constitutional challenge.

June 27 - The Clinic was featured in WHRO's Veterans Voices Town Hall series, which was honored with a Capital Emmy. Read the press release. Watch the segment on the clinic (04:37).

March 15 - The Clinic won an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for a U.S. Navy veteran exposed to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. This win was made possible through the efforts of a recent graduate, Jennifer Kahl, J.D. '15. Kahl began working on the appeal while a third-year law student at the Clinic, under the supervision of Adjunct Professor Aniela Szymanski. Read the story.

February 6 - The Clinic’s Military Mondays program, one of 33 nominees for the American Bar Association’s 2016 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access, was announced as the popular winner in the 2016 Brown Select Award. Read the story.

January 28- Third-year student Michael Goldsmith recently won an appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for a U.S. Air Force veteran exposed to asbestos in service and now suffering from significant health issues as a result. Read the story.

January 4 - Patricia Roberts, director of clinical programs and director of the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic, said at the Washington Health Law Summit that asking patients if they have served in the military could have a major impact on whether military veterans get needed services and legal assistance. Read the story.


Fall/Winter - The Veterans Law Journal featured articles by two faculty. Professor Patricia Roberts authored an article titled "Law Schools Serving Veterans Establish Coalition and Hold Conference," begins page 6.  Adjunct Professor Aniela Szymanski wrote an article titled "Veterans Law Clinics Teach Students to be Practice-Ready Litigators," begins page 8. Read the journal (opens .pdf).

Fall - Dean Douglas, Professor Patricia Roberts, former clinic student Shane Rumbaugh JD '15, and a client family talk about the work of the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic in this William & Mary video. Watch the video.

December 30 - Professor Patricia Roberts, director of clinical programs and director of the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic, was a guest on a special edition of the John Fredricks Show (WHTK AM 1650 - Hampton Roads, and other stations) hosted by Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA). Professor Roberts spoke about the work of the Puller Clinic and veterans' issues. A link to the audio recording will be posted when available.

December 10 - The Puller Clinic was referenced in a Channel 10 wavy.com story, "Local Veteran Tries to Recover Caregiver Benefit." Read the story.

December 8 - WHRO aired its "Veterans Voices Town Hall" program. "Veterans Voices, Episode One" featured a short WHRO-produced video about the clinic's work (begins at about 20:45) and a live panel (that begins at about 25:30) featuring Professor Patricia Roberts, clinic director and director of Clinical Programs, and Puller Clinic students Scott Krystiniak J.D. '16 and Aaron Petters J.D. '16. Watch the video.

November 23 - Professor Patricia Roberts, director of the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic and director of Clinical Programs, talked to Starbucks Newsroom about Military Mondays, a pilot project launched in Williamsburg by Starbucks and the clinic that provides veterans and their families an opportunity to meet over coffee and receive free advice and counsel. According to the story, individuals and programs across the country have expressed interest in becoming involved. Read the story.The story was also featured in QSR Magazine, a publication for the restaurant industry. Read the story.

November 9 - WalletHub quoted Professor Aniela Szymanski of the Puller Clinic in the story, "Where is the best place in the country for veterans to live?" Read the story.

November 9 - In a story reporting significant progress to meeting its goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018, Starbucks took note of its partnership with the Puller Veterans Clinic. Read the story.

November 7 -  The Virginian-Pilot published an essay by Professor Patricia Roberts titled "Vets Just Want Fair Benefits." Read the essay.

October 19 - Professor Patricia Roberts blogged about "Military Mondays," a new program for veterans created in partnership with Starbucks and its Armed Services Network, on Clinical Law Prof Blog. Read the post.

September 27 -Professor Patricia Roberts, director of the Puller Veterans Clinic and director of Clinical Programs, blogged about the personal rewards of work done by faculty and students on behalf of clients (and the inherent stresses of such work) in a post titled "You are the Light " (Clinical Law Prof Blog). Read the post.

September 9 - Professor Patricia Roberts, director of the Puller Veterans Clinic and director of Clinical Programs, made two presentation about the clinic's work: to the Kiwanis Club of Colonial Capital and to the Rotary Club. See the photo in the Virginia Gazette from the Kiwanis Club event.

September 1 - The Lewiston (Maine) Sun Journal quoted 1L law student and Clinic Fellow James F. Hasson in a story about a scholarship competition sponsored by Hardy, Wolf, and Downing in which Hasson was awarded first place. Hasson, a decorated Army captain who served in Afghanistan, submitted an essay for the scholarship competiton which was excerpted in part by the newspaper: As a member of the incoming class at William and Mary Law School, my desire is to help other veterans find the resources they need, and to help remedy the problems I’ve described in this essay. I will be working as a Fellow at the Lewis B. Puller Veterans Clinic on campus, and I hope to use this new chapter of my life to continue serving my fellow servicemen and women, only on a new battlefield. Read the story.

August 30 - Professor Patricia Roberts, director of the Puller Veterans Clinic and director of Clinical Programs, spoke to WVEC (TV) for their story about the Department of Veterans Affairs and its reported progress on the backlog of disability claims.  Watch the clip (Professor Roberts appears at 01:17).

July 6 – The National Law Journal quoted Professor Patricia Roberts, director of the Puller Veterans Clinic and director of Clinical Programs, in the story titled  "Law Clinics Answer the Call." Read the article.

June 29 - Starbucks Newsroom interviewed Professor Patricia Roberts, director of the Puller Veterans Clinic and director of Clinical Programs, on day one of the new pilot program with Starbucks.  Read "Military Mondays: Bringing Legal Expertise to Veterans in Starbucks."

June 29 - Reporter Mike Gooding of Channel 13 (Hampton Roads' ABC affiliate) filed a report on the clinic's partnership with Starbucks.  Watch the video.

June 8 - The Daily Press took note of the clinic's "Military Mondays" pilot program with Starbucks. Read the story.  WHRO's "Veterans Coming Home" website also took note of the program. Read the story.

May 30 - The Associated Press published a story on the clinic's pilot program with Starbucks.  The story was carried by The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press, WVEC 13News Now, Charlottesville Newsplex, WSET ABC 13 (Lynchburg, VA), Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Connecticut Post, Stars & Stripes. Read the story.

May 29 - The clinic will begin a partnership next month with Starbucks to aid veterans and service members with their benefits claims process and promote community collaboration. The program, “Military Mondays,” will be piloted in coordination with Starbuck’s Armed Forces Network and launched in the Hampton Roads area. Read the W&M press release. Read the story in Virginia Lawyers Weekly. 

May 20 - Channel 13 reporter Mike Gooding reported on the grant to the clinic by the Dominion Foundation and the clinic's ongoing work with veterans. Watch the video. Read the W&M press release about the check presentation.

May 19 - The Daily Press reported that the clinic is the recipient of a $25K grant from the Dominion Foundation. Read the story.  Read the W&M press release.

May 16 - With Good Reason radio aired its story about the clinic featuring interviews with Professor Patty Roberts, Professor Aniela K. Szymanski, former clinic student Bill Burke, J.D. '15, and veterans and their family members served by the clinic.  Listen to the story (clinic segment starts at 5:35 in audio).

April - The newsletter of the Clinical Legal Education Association published an article by Professor Patricia Roberts titled "The ABA Got It Rights: Veterans Need Our Help." The article begins on page 15 of the spring edition (opens .pdf).

April 1 - The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims held a hearing in the Law School's McGlothlin Courtroom at the invitation of Puller Clinic faculty. Read the Daily Press story titled "Claims Court Convenes on Campus to Teach William & Mary Law School Students" (open .pdf).  Watch the Daily Press video. Read the Virginian-Pilot story (opens .pdf) titled "William & Mary Law Students Get Lesson in VA Case Law."

March 3 - William & Mary announced that the Puller Clinic is slated to receive $245,000 in funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia in FY2015/16 through the state budget passed by the Virginia General Assembly last week. This legislation is before Governor McAuliffe for his approval. Read the press release. Read the Daily Press story.


November 11 - Wallethub.com interviewed Visiting Professor of Practice Aniela Szmanski for the article titled "The Best and Worst Cities for Veterans."  Her interview was cited in a November 13 Huffington Post story about how the city of Chicago fared in the WalletHub rankings. Read the story.

August 13 - The Augusta Free Press mentioned the work of the Puller Clinic in a story titled "ABA Urges Law Schools to Create Veterans Legal Clinics Based on Virginia Model."

August 13 - The Puller Clinic was referenced in a Daily Press story titled "Warner's Push for Expanding Veterans Legal Clinics Gains Ally: ABA Urges All Law Schools to Create Clinics to Help Veterans.

June 17 - In a video interview with Defense News, Senator Mark Warner discussed innovation solutions to problems facing the Department of Veterans Affairs and took note of the Puller Clinic. Watch the video.

May 28 - The Daily Press featured the clinic in a story titled "William & Mary Veterans Clinic Turning Heads in D.C."

May 27 - WVEC.com (ABC, Channel 13) aired a story titled "William & Mary Law Students Help Vets Claim Benefits."

May 23 - The Law School issued a press release titled "William & Mary Law School Applauds Advancement of Legislation to Increase Support for Law School Clinics Serving Veterans."

April 8 - Professor Patricia Roberts, director of Clinical Programs, was quoted in a W&M story about the first National Conference on Law Clinics Serving Veterans, hosted by the Law School, in Washington, D.C., on April 3-4.  Read the story.

April 3- 17 - A number of print and on-line newspapers published stories following the first National Conference on Law Clinics Serving Veterans. They include: The Daily Press (read the story); The Flat Hat (W&M student newspaper) (read the story); Richmond Times-Dispatch (read the story); WYDaily.com (read the story).

March 27 - Joelle Laszlo J.D. '09, a former clinic student and an attorney at Reed Smith, and Christopher Walters published a story in The Legal Intelligencer titled "Helping Right a Terrible Wrong to the Nation's Veterans." Read the story. Laszlo was among three ReedSmith attorneys who led a multi-office effort to partner with the National Veterans Legal Services Program to provide assistance to about 50 veterans in their appeal of their PTSD disability ratings.

January 14 - Sen. Mark Warner spoke to the U.S. Senate and showed his support of William & Mary's Veterans Benefits Clinic model. Listen to his comments here


November 11 (Veterans Day) - Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox, director of the Lewis B. Puller, Jr., Veterans Benefits Clinic, was a guest on Hearsay with Cathy Lewis on 89.5 FM (NPR's Norfolk, Va., affiliate).  The program was devoted to the examining the challenges veterans face as they transition back to civilian life.  Clinic student James Booth '14, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, and Medal of Honor recipient Sal A. Giunta also were guests on the show.  Listen to the show.

October 10 - Sen. Mark Warner mentioned the Law School in an interview on WAVY TV 10 about the government shutdown. Watch the video.

 October 9 - WVEC (ABC's Hampton Roads affiliate) featured John Paul Cimino ’12 (Director, Helping Military Veterans through Higher Education), who spoke about the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic's ongoing work during the government shutdown. Watch the video. The clinic was also featured in a Daily Press (Va.) story "W&M law school clinic still serving veterans."

September 16 - Va. State Senator Mark Herring, who is a candidate for attorney general of Virginia, is quoted in a Daily Press (Va.) story as saying he'd work with groups like the Puller Clinic that provide legal services to veterans.  Read the story: "Herring Lays Out Vets Plan."

September 6 - U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki was quoted about the Puller Clinic in a Daily Press (Va.) story "VA Secretary Endorses Local Veterans Initiatives."

August 23 - The PublicService JD blog noted the Department of Veterans Affairs' announcement of the Puller Clinic's designation as a Fully Developed Claims (FDC) Community of Practice.

August 21-22

Office of Senator Mark Warner: "Sen. Mark Warner Announces Dept. of Veterans Affairs Certification of William & Mary Puller Clinic as a National Model"

Department of Veterans Affairs: "William and Mary Law School's Puller Clinic Joins Fully Developed Claims Community of Practice"

William & Mary Law School: "Department of Veterans Affairs Certifies Puller Clinic as a National Model: W&M Clinic is First Law School Clinic in Nation to Receive Certification"

Congressman Rob Wittman's office issued a statement following the VA's announcement. In it, the congressman wrote "... I have urged the VA to utilize William & Mary, and promoted their work as a national example for improving the VA claims process and helping veterans."

The Daily Press (Va.) published the story "Plan to Help Veterans Has Wittman's Backing."

A story titled "W&M Legal Clinic Gains Clout to Help with VA Claims" appeared in The Virginian-Pilot.

TV coverage: Senator Mark Warner was quoted about the Puller Clinic's designation as an FDC Community of Practice in a story and published by WSLS.com (Channel 10, Roanoke, Va.) titled "Roanoke VA Backlog Down 20%, Still Work to Do." The senator was also interviewed on camera by WDBJ-TV7.com (Channel 7, Roanoke, Va.) about the VA designation. He also spoke about the clinic's efforts in an interview on WVEC-TV13. Watch the video.

The Roanoke Times included the senator's comments about the Puller Clinic in the story "Sen. Warner Meets with Railroad Workers to Talk Gridlock."

The senator's website noted that "...the VA has certified ... the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic as a national 'best practices' program for submission of disability claims." Read more.

August 21 - Senator  Mark Warner's campus visit and talk with 1L and LL.M. students was featured on WTKR-TV 3 (Hampton Roads, Va.).  Includes interview with the senator about the Puller Clinic and its designation as an FDC Community of Practice. Watch the video.  The visit was also reported in the Virginia Gazette in a story titled "Veterans Affairs Certifies William and Mary Clinic: Sen. Mark Warner Delivers News in Talk to Law Students."

August 14 - Congressman Rob Wittman referenced the work of the Puller Clinic and the HMVHE consortium in a post about veterans' benefits in the Fredericksburg Patch. The clinic, and the consortium, he wrote  "... exemplified the way innovative methods can improve this [VA claims] process, with legal experts helping our veterans navigate the claims system, whether through compiling necessary documentation, submitting complex claim forms, or even coordinating medical evaluations."

August 14 - A press release from Va. Governor Bob McDonnell's office ("Governor McDonnell Highlights Why Virginia is 'The Most Veteran-Friendly State in the Nation') quoted Va. Secretary of Veteran Affairs and Homeland Security Terrie L. Suit: "... [the governor] has stressed a collaborative, cross-agency approach to serving veterans, which has really paid off.  Just a few examples include the innovative Troops to Trucks program ...,  the outstanding success of the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, and the Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic ..."

August 6 - PJ Media published a story titled "Congressman [Rob Wittman] Suggests VA Partnership with Law Schools to Help Backlogged Vets."  According to the story, Rep. Wittman views the Puller Clinic and HMVHE as providing a "'template' for a broader partnership program" involving law schools and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

July 31 - The Daily Press (Hampton Roads, Va.) reported on the clinic in its story titled "[Representative Rob] Wittman Sees Potential in W&M Veterans Clinic."

June 21  - The Daily Press - The clinic is mentioned in an article titled "Warner Sees Progress in VA Disability Claims Backlog Problem." 

June 5  - Professor Patricia E. Roberts, director of Clinical Programs, and Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox, managing attorney, spoke about the clinic's work on Hearsay with Cathy Lewis, a radio program on WHRV 89.5 (Norfolk's NPR affiliate). Listen to the program (interview begins at 06:15).

May 27  - A story titled "Law School Clinics Seen as Possible Way to Help Reduce VA Backlog on Vets' Disability Benefits" (alternate title "Vets Disability Benefits: Law Schools Curb Backlog") featured the clinic's work and interviews with Professor Patricia Roberts and Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox. The story was shared via the Associated Press's wire service and published by more than 80 media outlets.  These outlets included ABC News, Businessweek, CNBC, the Houston Chronicle, the Huffington Post, the Miami Herald,  NPR, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and The Washington Post.

May 23  - WVEC (ABC's Hampton Roads affiliate) interviewed Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox and former clinic student Kevin Barrett '13 about the clinic's work. Watch the video.

May 14  – JD Journal: VA Disability Claims Back Log Could be Alleviated with Law School Pro Bono Clinics

April 30  - Daily Press & Stars and Stripes: Cutting the VA Backlog: W&M May Have National Model.

April 30  – William & Mary News: Pro Bono Award Recognizes Veterans Clinic's Volunteer Attorneys and Law Students

March 8 – Dr. Leticia Flores of VCU's Center for Psychological Services and Development was quoted by Medical Press in a story titled "Moral Injury Among the Issues Facing Combat Veterans."