Friday
September 21

Dickinson Law Hosts United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and Clerkship Panel

One of few federal courts with nationwide jurisdiction, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims heard oral argument on a pending case open to the public in the Apfelbaum Family Courtroom and Auditorium Friday, September 14, 2018.

A three-judge panel of Margaret Bartley, William Greenberg, and Joseph Toth heard the case of Batcher v. Wilkie (No. 16-0638). The issue presented was whether and to what extent the terms of a separation agreement affect a spouse’s entitlement to special apportionment of a veteran’s VA disability compensation benefits under 38 C.F.R. § 3.451.

Veterans Court Hearing“This was quite an opportunity for our students to not only witness a live judicial proceeding in front of the Court, but also interact with those on the bench and their clerks,” said Gary S. Gildin, dean, Dickinson Law. “We are truly honored that they made the journey to Dickinson Law, which allowed our students to watch counsel in action and learn about federal practice, administrative law, constitutional law and veterans benefits.”

The Court’s principal office is in Washington, D.C., but the Court is authorized to sit anywhere in the United States and does so several times each year as part of its educational outreach program. This is the first time the Court heard oral argument at Dickinson Law.

Prior to the oral argument, Dickinson Law students attended a Veterans Practice and Clerkship Panel with counsel who argued the case and the judges’ law clerks who shared more about why they pursued clerkships, the challenges and rewards of clerking, veterans practice and tips for pursuing a federal clerkship in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Class of 2018 Dickinson Law graduate Mahtom Molayem, federal clerk for Judge Greenberg, was one of four clerks to participate in the panel.

“During my third year of law school, I clerked in Harrisburg for the Hon. John E. Jones III and realized that I wanted to find a post-grad clerkship,” said Molayem. “I’m from the Washington, D.C. area and wanted to return home. I was referred to Judge Greenberg as a potential candidate and was ultimately selected.”

Molayem advised students to use the network and resources around them to help with potential employment opportunities.

The judges, their clerks, counsel and the Dickinson Law community enjoyed a networking reception immediately following the oral argument.

View photos from the event here.

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