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VA Form 21 Blog

The idea for the VA Form 21 Blog came from my 13+ years of experience trying to build a law practice in a challenging practice area: representation of disabled veterans.

Along my path, I've learned a lot about building a sustainable and profitable law firm that prioritizes the well-being of the attorney. I'd like to pass on my knowledge to other attorneys, regardless of their practice area.

For those who specifically practice Veterans Law, this page is unlike any resource on the "internets" today. It is designed and written specifically for attorneys, advocates, VSOs, and agents. I will keep you current on the law, changes inside the VA, and give you tips and techniques to help deliver quality legal representation to your clients: veterans and their surviving spouses and children.

Join me as we work together to build profitable law firms that prioritize attorney well-being.

Learn more about the VA Form 21 Blog

Lawyer Wellness in the practice of law.

“To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer.”  So begins an August 2017 report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. The problem with this statement, however, is that it is a false comparison. Some of… Read More
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Categories: Lawyer Wellness

The Business of Law

Anybody can hang out a shingle and start a small law firm, but the attorneys who will succeed must invariably learn something about the business of law. There are, in theory,  so many resources available that one might think it would be hard… Read More
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Categories: The Business of Law

VA Form 21 Blog: Legal Updates

When I represent a veteran before the VA Regional Office or BVA, I build my client’s case based on the current law as I understand it. My Notice of Disagreement is shaped by the legal errors that the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC)… Read More
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Introducing the Lawyers Coffee Crew (Episode 001)

Earlier this year, I tested an idea – what if a group of lawyers grabbed a virtual cup of coffee every Monday morning and chatted about their progress building a profitable law firm that prioritizes the attorney’s well being? Thos… Read More
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Lawyers with a Purpose: a path to happiness in the law.

If you hear the phrase, lawyers with a purpose, what is your immediate reaction? Do you roll your eyes? Yawn? Close this page and find something else to read? I’ll be honest, the first time a business coach told me that my law practice… Read More
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Categories: Lawyer Wellness

"Mind Your Business"

The Business of Law – its not something we really think about until we need to know something about it. Every time I’ve needed to find a lawyer who can help me understand the law, argue a point in a motion or brief, or figure out the pra… Read More
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Precedential CAVC Alert: Quinn v. Wilkie (17-4555)

38 U.S.C. §7107(b) (2012) requires “[t]he Board shall decide any appeal only after affording the appellant an opportunity for a hearing.” When a veteran has a BVA hearing, and seeks another hearing after the BVA decision is vacated and remanded… Read More
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It's not bad to be an Unhappy Lawyer.

“I am not happy doing what I’m doing.” I’ve had that thought several times in my life. We all have – I hope.   In fact, the thought that I was unhappy doing what I was doing was the thought that led me to law school. Back in… Read More
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Federal Circuit Precedent Alert: Shea v. Wilkie (scope of an informal VA claim)

WHAT IS THE DEEP ISSUE? In determining whether or not a veteran’s formal claim for one condition raised an informal VA claim for a second condition, the CAVC must ensure that the BVA liberally construes the record to determine if the vetera… Read More
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Replace yourself from the ground up.

“I can’t take a day off or a vacation. Someone has to get the work done.”  If you are a lawyer and that is the reason you are not taking a vacation, or at least a day off, then you are bailing water from a sinking ship. Working to k… Read More
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Categories: The Business of Law

PRECEDENTIAL CAVC CASE ALERT: Buffington v. Wilkie (17-4382).

What is the Deep Issue in the Case? This case involved one issue, framed in 3 ways. In this case, the veteran was receiving disability compensation from the VA when he returned to active military service. His VA benefits were automatically te… Read More
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How to Talk to an Attorney When Seeking Representation in VA claims.

In the past decade or so, Attig | Steel has talked with thousands of veterans seeking help with their VA Claims and Court Appeals.  During that time, we have reviewed all kinds of VA claims, at all stages of appeal, and communicated with Vetera… Read More
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About the "VA Form 21” Blog

I want to teach you what I've learned about building a profitable law practice that prioritizes attorney well-being.

If you practice Veterans Law, the VA Form 21 Blog will work to keep you current on changes in veterans law.