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Finnegan Pro Bono Counsel Ronald L. Smith Recognized for Commitment to Helping Veterans and Their Families

November 8, 2012

Related Professionals: Smith, Ronald L.

Award/Ranking;Press Release

November 8, 2012

Contact:    Christine E. Lehman, 202.408.4270 

Finnegan Pro Bono Counsel Ronald L. Smith Recognized for Commitment to Helping Veterans and Their Families


WASHINGTON, DC - The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) has announced that Ronald L. Smith, pro bono counsel for Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP’s Veterans’ Pro Bono Program, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Senator Daniel K. Inouye Award.

Established in 2009, the Daniel K. Inouye Award is given annually to “an organization or individual who has demonstrated extraordinary national service in support of veterans, service members, and their families.” For the past 21 years, Mr. Smith has focused his legal practice on representing appellants before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). Before joining Finnegan as pro bono counsel in 2008, he advocated for veterans as Deputy General Counsel for Veterans Claims for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) where he supervised all appeals to the federal courts for the DAV. Before joining the DAV, Mr. Smith served with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General from 1984 to 1989.

Currently, Ron Smith leads Finnegan’s veterans pro bono program, one of the most active and comprehensive pro bono programs in the United States serving disabled military veterans. The firm primarily represents them in the CAVC, but also pursues the rights of veterans in the U.S. Courts of Federal Claims and Federal Circuit, among other courts, boards, and agencies. Almost 200 attorneys and staff participate in the program. In 2011, the firm brought more than 100 new appeals; more than 170 were prosecuted fully or partially; 86 decisions were vacated and remanded to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals; and 4 other appeals settled. The CAVC reversed the Board’s decisions in 6 cases, dismissed none, and only affirmed 17.

Mr. Smith will be presented with the Daniel K. Inouye Award during NVLSP’s Fourth Annual Benefit Reception at the St. Regis Hotel, November 8, 2012.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is an independent, nonprofit veterans service organization that has served active duty military personnel and veterans since 1980. NVLSP strives to ensure that our nation honors its commitment to its 22 million veterans and active duty personnel by ensuring they have the federal benefits they have earned through their service to our country. NVSLP offers training for attorneys and other advocates, connects veterans and active duty personnel with pro bono legal help when seeking disability benefits, publishes the nation’s definitive guide on veteran benefits, and represents and litigates for veterans and their families before the VA, military discharge review agencies, and federal courts. For more information go to

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