To veterans struggling with a VA case:
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is David’s defeat of Goliath. David should have never stood a chance against Goliath. David was a young shepherd boy, not a soldier. Goliath was a giant man and skilled warrior. Despite these overwhelming differences in size, strength, and experience, David was able to defeat his foe with a slingshot and stones.
As a lawyer, I am proud to have always represented “Davids” against the “Goliaths” in their lives. My clients have always been just regular, hardworking people facing incredibly tough odds against someone with more money, time, and experience.
I went to college and law school at the University of Georgia. I studied business finance in college but realized law would let me combine two things I loved: competition and helping others. That led me to law school, where my purpose became clearer: I wanted to help real people facing big, uphill challenges in the legal system.
Early in my career, that meant representing disabled workers against large employers and insurance companies. These companies would bully folks simply because they could. That motivated me even more to win so these workers – my clients – could receive the income and medical treatment they deserved and desperately needed.
Later, I felt called to help another group of “Davids.” Our government had broken its promise to care for disabled veterans and their families. So, I began representing disabled veterans and their families in disability compensation appeals with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Every day I see wrongful denials of benefits. I see many who have given up because they’re tired of fighting against the government they used to fight for. The VA has more experience and resources in this system than any disabled veteran. Our veterans face incredible odds in the VA system, but my team and I work every day to level that playing field.
Like David, most veterans have never been to battle against the VA. They don’t know the law or the process. So, I created the Perkins Studdard Veterans Law video series to educate and empower as many veterans as possible. I enjoy sharing what I have learned and hearing from those who benefit from the free information.
I have also chaired and presented at legal education seminars for other lawyers and legal practitioners so they can better represent their clients in ongoing benefits claims. Over the years I have held various leadership and membership roles in legal associations, including president of a local trial lawyers’ association, a board member of a statewide claimants’ lawyer organization, and most recently as a sustaining member of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA). I am accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to represent veterans at the Regional Office and Board of Veterans’ Appeals and admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Outside of work, I most enjoy time with my family, usually on a sports field or at home working together on our small farm. We are active members of our local United Methodist Church where I am currently serving a two-year term as Lay Leader, who is elected to be the primary non-clergy representative to assist with the business and mission of the church.
There is no bigger foe than the federal government and its bureaucracy, but to me there is no bigger professional honor than to seek justice on behalf of those who have sacrificed for this country. If you or your loved one has worn the uniform, thank you.