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November 2019 Greetings! In This Issue: Managing Director's Message 2019 TVC Pro Bono Mission Partner Reception Event Photos Pro Bono Week Pop Up Legal Clinics National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition Giving Tuesday Notable News

Managing Director's Message This was an important month for all of us who strive to honor our veterans and the sacrifices they've made for our country. We celebrated Veterans Day on November 11, by providing a Discharge Upgrade training to the American Bar Association. Over 70 attorneys participated in the training in order to successfully assist veterans with their Discharge Upgrade applications. We thank them for spending their holiday with us and for their commitment to veterans.

November is also National Military Family Month, a time to reflect on the all too often overlooked military families who truly know what it means to serve and to sacrifice for our country. We take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to providing the best legal services to not only veterans but also to their families, caregivers and survivors and we thank them for their service to our country. In addition, this month marked the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Court Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). The Court has exclusive jurisdiction over decisions of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA). The Court provides an independent judicial review and is not part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to the establishment of the CAVC, there was no judicial review of VA decisions and no judicial recourse for veterans who were denied benefits by the VA. TVC receives funds through a grant from the CAVC to train volunteers to represent veterans pro bono so that our nation’s defenders receive the care, benefits, and compensation they were promised and the best legal services, free of charge, to meet their challenges. And of course, we also celebrate Thanksgiving in November. On behalf of the staff at TVC, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. We are grateful for the generous gift of time and resources from our volunteers, mission partners and supporters – thank you. To our veterans -- our nation’s defenders, we are thankful for your service and sacrifice. And last, but certainly not least, on November 10 we celebrated the 244th Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps - the few, the proud! Semper Fi, Jim Carlsen Managing Director

Our Annual TVC Pro Bono Mission Partner Reception was held on November 6. Guests enjoyed an evening of good food and company as we gathered to celebrate our shared mission of equal access to justice for veterans. Thank you to all who were able to join us and to our very generous sponsors. It was a pleasure to share this special evening with all of you. Please enjoy some highlights from the night below!

2019 TVC Law Firm Pro Bono Mission Partner Award Jonathan Ulrich accepting on behalf of White & Case LLP with Courtney Smith, TVC's Director of Volunteer Outreach & Education

2019 TVC Chairman's Award Javier Centonzio of Centonzio Law, PLLC accepting with Judy Donegan, TVC's Director of Litigation & Case Management

Special Grant Presentation DAV Charitable Service Trust Presentation of $1,000,000 Discharge Upgrade Grant Roy Spicer, DAV & Director, TVC Executive Board, Marc Burgess, DAV Charitable Service Trust, National Adjutant/CEO, Jim Carlsen, Managing Director, TVC, and Danica Gonzalves, Discharge Upgrade Program

Chanin Nuntavong The American Legion Director, TVC Executive Board

Tom McDonell, ​Quarles & Brady ​(Hero Sponsor)

Joe Reeder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP (Champion Sponsor)

Marc Burgess, National Adjutant/CEO, DAV Charitable Service Trust

Distinguished Attendees The Honorable Mary Scholen, The Honorable Greg Block, and The Honorable Margaret Bartley, US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Click Here For More Photos

We also premiered our latest video, highlighting the work we do at The Veterans Consortium and the impact of volunteering.


"Venue Sponsor"







TVC Pro Bono Week Pop Up Legal Clinics In honor of Pro Bono Week 2019, TVC hosted a successful 4 th Annual Legal Muster. Clinics were held simultaneously at the DC VA Medical Center, in both the Transition and Care Management Center and Women's Health Clinic, as well as at the DC VA Community Resource and Referral Center. Many veterans were served and we would like to thank the following members of our TVC National Volunteer Corps for their participation: Rebeca Baan, Duane Morris Paul Belnap, Duane Morris Bill Bosch, Arnold & Porter Chris Tyson, Duane Morris Valerie Daye, Esq.

Katherine DeStefano, Nelson Mullins Falen M. LaPonzina, ADVOCATE Heidi Lunasin, Duane Morris Schantell S. Comegys, Law Office of Schantell S. Comegys PLLC Tokay Hackett, VA, Office of OGC

TVC Sponsors Trophies at the ​2019 National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition

Best Oral Advocate Vasilios Zimarakos Stetson University College of Law

Best Respondent's Brief Carmen Huff & Thomas Sommer American University Washington College of Law

Best Team Award Sean Mullen & Christopher Odgers Stetson University College of Law The Veterans Consortium was pleased once again to be the trophy sponsor for the 2019 National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition on November 3. Judy Donegan, Director of Litigation & Case Management at TVC, presented the awards. The Competition is in it's eleventh year and is held in Washington, DC every fall. Students travel from around the country to participate in authentic veterans law arguments before a panel of prominent veterans law judges and practitioners. The final round this year was judged by The Honorable Michael P. Allen, The Honorable Margaret Bartley, and The Honorable William S. Greenberg.

NOTABLE NEWS Giving Tuesday is December 3rd Want to apply for the 2020 David Isbell Summer Internship? Send a cover letter, resume, unofficial law school transcript, and writing sample to Courtney Smith, Director of Volunteer Outreach & Education, at: Click Here To Apply

Available Pro Bono CAVC Cases ​for our current ​TVC National Volunteer CorpsSM Click below to view our list of Available Pro Bono Cases in need of representation by a volunteer attorney. *Note: you must be a current volunteer who has taken our training and has been approved as a member on our website in order to log in and view the available cases.

Upcoming Training Information Appellate Advocacy before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims



Your gift will help to ensure that our veterans & their loved ones can receive the care, the benefits and the compensation they earned by serving our country.

Click Here To Donate

Friday 13 December 2019 DC Bar Pro Bono Center 901 4th Street NW Washington, DC 20001 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Register Here

Partner with us and sponsor a U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Appellate Advocacy training.

For more information contact: Volunteer Outreach & Education at

Do you know a Veteran in crisis?



Profile for The Veterans Consortium

November 2019 Monthly Brief  

November 2019 Monthly Brief