Director, Project SALUTE & Veterans Appellate Clinic
Tammy M. Kudialis, Esq.
LL.M. Stetson University College of Law
J.D. University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
B.A. Concordia University, Magna Cum Laude
Tammy Kudialis is the director of Project SALUTE and the Veterans Appellate Clinic at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Professor Kudialis was instrumental in establishing Project SALUTE and has directed the program since inception. She also created and teaches the Veterans Appellate Clinic, an upper-class live client clinic, representing veterans and their survivors before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Project SALUTE is the pro bono project of the UDM Veterans Clinics travelling regionally and nationally to assist indigent veterans with their federal benefits claims while providing law students with practical legal training and pro bono attorneys with the opportunity to serve those who have served. At the direction of Ms. Kudialis, Project SALUTE conducts outreach clinics throughout Michigan and the United States providing free educational presentations and individual consultations to veterans. Project SALUTE also conducts free training seminars on basic veteran disability benefits law for attorneys who agree to provide free representation to a veteran in need of assistance with their federal benefits claim. To date, Project SALUTE has counselled over 3,800 veterans and trained more than 1,200 attorneys, many of whom are currently working on a veteran’s federal benefits case for free.
In addition to her responsibilities as director, Professor Kudialis travels extensively with Project SALUTE supervising veterans' clinics and conducting attorney trainings. Ms. Kudialis also actively participates in the formation and implementation of Veteran’s Treatment Courts throughout Michigan and orchestrated the first Homeless Court for the SE Michigan Veteran’s Stand Down. As part of her LL.M. degree, she had the opportunity to study veterans’ law with the Honorable Robert N. Davis of the United States Court of Appeals of Veterans Claims. Ms. Kudialis is admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, is a member of the Court’s Bar Association and a member of the National Organization of Veterans Advocates.
In the fall of 2011, UDM Project SALUTE partnered with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) to create “Project Salute: Young Lawyers Serving Veterans.” Through this year-long partnership, volunteer attorneys from all 50 states have the opportunity to become VA accredited, receive training on veteran’s benefits law from UDM’s Project SALUTE program, and go forward into their communities to educate and assist veterans in obtaining the federal veterans benefits they may be entitled to receive. Professor Kudialis developed this national service initiative exclusively for the ABA Young Lawyers Division, creating all of the project materials including the CLE accredited attorney training webinar “Overview of Basic Federal Veterans Benefits Law” and the “Veterans Law Tool Kit.” Professor Kudialis received the prestigious ABA YLD Star of the Year Award for creating and implementing Project Salute: Young Lawyers Serving Veterans, and the project itself won the prestigious Section Officers Conference Meritorious Service Award, an annual award given to the Section, Division or Forum that has sponsored a program, project or initiative in the past year that is of extraordinary benefit to the profession, the public and/or the American Bar Association.