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 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. 

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 Director of Corporate & Foundation Giving at Rust College and a VA accredited attorney; and Seth Ogden who is a shareholder at Patterson Intellectual Property Law and a VA accredited attorney.


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
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. 

SAVE MONEY: Use the prepaid CLE credits that come with your TBA Complete Membership. Not a TBA member? Join now to start saving!


This course is no longer available for purchase.

Course Information April 05, 2023
  • Schedule: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Live Virtual Event, TN
All times listed are Central Time
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.