Disability Law, Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Administrative Law, Intellectual Property, Federal Law, Appellate Practice

General Introduction to the Practice of Veterans Law



Tennessee veterans are underrepresented through the VA Claims and Appeals process. This CLE intends to expand the group of legal advocates dedicated to serving veterans. This live virtual 3-hour CLE program will cover information about representation before the VA, claims procedures, basic eligibility for VA benefits, right to appeal, disability compensation dependency and indemnity compensation, and pension. There will be a 15-minute break in the middle of the program.

The CLE program will be presented by James R. Drysdale who works for the VA Office of General Counsel in Washington, D.C., litigating matters on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; Rita Gibson Rayford who is the Chief Development Officer for Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc. and a VA accredited attorney; and Seth Ogden who is a shareholder at Patterson Intellectual Property Law and a VA accredited attorney.

Expect to learn:

  • How to spot common issues;
  • Practical tips for staying proactive that may increase the chances of success;
  • How to work with forms and make use of terms of art;
  • What regulations, statutes, case law, or other legal sources of information are instructive; and How to take advantage of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts.

In order for lawyers to represent veterans with claims for benefits before the Department of Veterans Affairs, lawyers must be accredited by the VA. Accreditation means the authority granted by VA to assist claimants in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits. 38 C.F.R. § 14.627(a).

The only requirement for initial accreditation is the filing of Form 21a; however, within a year of initial accreditation, attorneys must complete a 3-credit-hour CLE requirement. An additional 3 hours of CLE must be completed within 3 years of the initial accreditation. Read more at http://www.va.gov/ogc/accred_faqs.asp.

Applications for accreditation (VA Form 21a) are available online at www.va.gov/ogc/accreditation.asp. The applications are relatively short and simple, but the approval process may take up to 90 days.

This 3.0 hour CLE program satisfies the requirements of 38 C.F.R. § 14.629(b)(iii) and has been approved by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 3 hours of CLE credit.

Because the VA’s regulations require completion of qualifying CLE “during the first 12-month period following the date of initial accreditation by the VA,” the VA will not accept CLE courses taken before accreditation as satisfying the requirements of 38 C.F.R. § 14.629(b). Therefore, you must be accredited by the VA prior to attending this training in order to use this training to satisfy the VA’s CLE requirement for accredited attorneys. 

A recording of this training will be made available in the TBA CLE course catalog for those who wish to seek accreditation at a later point in time. 


This virtual event will be live on Zoom. This program is intended for those who can watch it live. If you are unable to attend this live program, recordings of the sessions will be made available to purchase in the course catalog at a later date. Attendees will be able to ask questions through the chat feature. The email associated with your TBA CLE account will be the email that receives the link to join the Zoom Webinar. Since this is a live virtual program, it will begin promptly at 9 a.m. CT on Aug. 12.

Please Note: You must register for this event prior to 7:30 a.m. CT on Aug. 12 to receive the link to join the Zoom Webinar. If you need help registering late, please email CLE@tnbar.org.

SAVE MONEY: Use the prepaid CLE credits that come with your TBA Complete Membership.

• Not a TBA member? Join now to start saving. 
• Not a member of the IP or Administrative Law sections? Join here for additional savings and benefits.


Course Pricing
  • Member: 135.00
  • Non-Member: 310.00 (Includes TBA Complete Membership)
  • Section: 105.00
If you are not a TBA Member, you can join now to receive CLE discount prices and three prepaid credits.

TBA members who are judges, lawmakers and law students can take TBA CLE onsite courses at no charge for the programming. There may be a separate charge if meals, special materials or other premium features are involved.
Course Information August 12, 2021
  • Schedule: 9:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: Live Virtual Event, TN
  • Discount for Administrative Law & IP Section Members
  • Live Virtual Event
Course Credits Dual Credits: 0.00
General Credits: 3.00
Total Credits: 3

This program will be filed for Tennessee CLE credit. Please contact TBA for Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama credit.