On-Demand Video

Veterans Advocacy in Pennsylvania: Basic Veterans Law

  • City:
  • Start Date:2022-08-03 20:00:00
  • End Date:2024-08-03 20:00:00
  • Length:
  • Level:Basic
  • Topics:Government

$249.00 ["ProPass"]

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In Pennsylvania, there are over 845,000 veterans, with over half age 65 or older. As an advocate for those who so nobly served our country, it’s important that you understand veterans law – from the basics and beyond, including recent changes and developments in the law. You play an essential role in removing barriers to the benefits to which your client is entitled.

This program walks you through the basics to help you most effectively help your clients and meet the requirements to become an accredited VA representative. 

  • VA Pension Benefits
  • The VA Claim Process — An Overview
  • Basic Principles of Veterans Benefits
  • Appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals
  • Appeals to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • Attorney Fees

Become an Accredited VA Representative.
If you are interested in providing advice and/or representation to veterans in VA benefits matters, you MUST be accredited through the US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of General Counsel. In order to become accredited, you must fill out VA Form 21A (found here ). Once you fill out the form and submit it to the Office of General Counsel (more information can be found here ), you will receive notice of your accreditation. Within the first twelve months of your accreditation, you are required to take a three-hour CLE on veterans law. This program will count toward that CLE requirement. You must have already obtained your attorney ID number prior to taking the initial required CLE course. If you have any questions, please contact us

Co-sponsored with the PBA Military & Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

We extend our gratitude to the Series’ planning team:

  • Lisa Grayson, Esq., Co-Chair, PBA Military & Veterans Affairs Committee
  • Stephan K. Todd, Esq., Co-Chair, PBA Military & Veterans Affairs Committee
  • Brendan Auman, Homeless Program Manager, Government Action Committee on Veterans, PA Dept. of Community & Economic Development
  • Samantha Cossman, Regional Program Outreach Coordinator, PA Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs, PA VETConnect 
  • Richard Prebil, Esq., Staff Attorney, Legal Aid, Veterans Advocacy Project
  • Thomas J. Reed, Professor Emeritus, Veterans Law Clinic, Widener University Delaware Law School
  • Craig Swineford, Veterans Services Specialist, Pa Dept Of Military and Veterans Affairs, Region 3
  • David Trevaskis, PBA Pro-Bono Coordinator
  • Michele Vollmer, Professor, Penn State Law

PBA members save: Contact PBI’s customer experience team to receive a 25% discount for PBA members.

All attendees will receive the course book as a digital download. A printed copy of the course book is available, at a discount to attendees, for $40. Additional copies are available at full price. If you wish to purchase the printed version of the course book, please call PBI Customer Service at 800-932-4637. Please allow up to two weeks after the program for the printed versions of the course book to be shipped.

Recorded in August 2022.


Richard Prebil Esq.

Richard A.J. Prebil, Esq., currently serves as a Staff Attorney with the Veterans Advocacy Project at Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, a project he helped establish in mid-2020. The mission of the Project is to provide trauma-informed, client-centered legal representation and advice to veterans experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness, and income insecurity, or living with a disability, in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties, and to empower individuals through legal education and increased access to the courts, and to change community practices and systems that cause or aggravate poverty. Currently, he primarily practices in the areas of VA benefits, discharge upgrades, and social security. He also provides brief advice in the areas of unemployment compensation, landlord/tenant, and other matters as necessary. He joined Legal Aid of Southeastern PA in September 2019 as a staff attorney in its Chester City, Delaware County, office representing low-income individuals throughout Delaware County in the areas of landlord/tenant, public/section 8 housing, child custody, public benefits, and unemployment compensation. Prior to joining Legal Aid, Mr. Prebil was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Military Assistance Project where he provided representation and outreach to veterans, current military personnel, and their families, in the areas of veterans benefits, discharge upgrades, and Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Throughout law school he interned with different legal service and social service organizations from Minnesota to Chicago to Philadelphia, focusing on assisting individuals experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness and income insecurity. Mr. Prebil is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Springfield (BA) and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law (JD). He also earned a Certificate in Trauma-Informed Organizations from the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care at the University of Buffalo in 2018. Mr. Prebil is licensed to practice law in PA, an accredited attorney with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and is on the bar of the US District Court for the Eastern District of PA and the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. 

Michele Vollmer Esq.

Professor Vollmer earned a BA in political science and international relations from the University of Notre Dame, with highest honors, and a JD from Duke University School of Law, with honors. Since July 2008, Professor Vollmer has been teaching legal courses at Penn State Law, including legal writing, veterans’ benefits, appellate advocacy, and pretrial advocacy. Since July 2015, she has also directed the law school’s Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic. As director, Professor Vollmer supervises law students who represent veterans with appeals concerning their veterans’ disability, pension, and education benefits. In addition, the clinic assists the Pennsylvania Office of Veterans Affairs in representing veterans by providing medical research and assisting with obtaining medical expert opinions. The clinic also seeks to influence and develop state and federal legislation to benefit veterans and servicemembers. Prior to joining Penn State Law, Professor Vollmer served as a senior counsel in the Division of Enforcement for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2006, she received an award from the Department of Justice for her work in assisting the Enron Task Force with its criminal prosecutions. She also represented the commission in both litigation and appellate matters for the SEC’s Office of the General Counsel. Before joining the SEC, she was a partner in a law firm, practicing commercial litigation. Professor Vollmer also created and teaches in the law school’s Explore Law program, and developed and for many years taught Introduction to Common Law Analysis and Language, an online course for foreign-trained lawyers. Professor Vollmer also serves as a board member for the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium, and as a consultant to Penn State’s College of Liberal Arts online World Campus undergraduate major in law and society.

Elizabeth Tarloski Esq.

Ms. Tarloski is a staff attorney in the Veterans Advocacy Project at Legal Aid of Southeastern PA where she handles VA disability claims and discharge upgrades for low-income and unhoused veterans. Previous to Legal Aid, Ms. Tarloski worked at Philadelphia VIP and as a Visiting Professor of Practice at the Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic at William and Mary Law School. While there she developed and taught the first law school clinic class nationwide to focus exclusively on Military Sexual Trauma and helped to create and launch the online certificate class “Psychological Challenges and Resulting Legal Issues for Service Members and Veterans,” which she continues to teach. She began her career serving veterans as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Widener Law School’s Veterans Law Clinic. She earned her law degree from Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law, her M.S. in Gender, Development, and Globalization from the London School of Economics and Political Science and her B.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego. 

Thomas Reed

Professor Reed joined the faculty at Delaware Law School as Associate Professor of Law and served in that capacity from 1981-84; as Associate Dean and Professor of Law, 1984-93; and as Professor of Law from 1984 to 2010.Professor Reed is admitted to practice in Indiana, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Reed teaches and writes in the areas of Evidence, Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, Veterans Law and Military Law, Property, Pre-Trial Methods, Trial Methods, Land Use Planning, and Wills and Trusts. Professor Reed received a B.A. from Marquette University in 1962; and a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in 1969, where he served as a member of the Notre Dame Law Review. 

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