This page is dedicated to all of the advocates out there who work tirelessly in support of veterans, servicemembers, and their families. It highlights those who have gone above and beyond to ensure that systems made for those who've served actually benefit those who've served. This page is our thank you to them, while also introducing their skills to those who need their services.
Amy B. Kretkowski, Esq.
Founder of the Veterans Law Office of Amy B. Kretkowski, PLC,
Volunteer at The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
Amy Kretkowski’s path to becoming an accomplished veteran’s advocate at the Veterans Law Office of Amy B. Kretkowski, PLC, was not typical. Her first love was screenwriting and she received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She then spent the next 18 years in television production in New York and Los Angeles before deciding to go to law school with thoughts of going into entertainment law.
Amy attended the University of Iowa College of Law and after she graduated, she and her husband relocated to Washington, DC for his work. She began looking into federal appellate clerkships and came across an opportunity at a court she had not known existed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). As the daughter of a WWII veteran, Amy was intrigued by the Court’s jurisdiction to provide judicial review on final decisions by the Board of Veterans' Appeals.
Amy was not a typical law clerk applicant. At the time, she was 44 years old and had just graduated from law school. But she was accepted and had the good fortune to clerk for Judge Mary Schoelen, the first woman Judge to serve on the Court. The clerkship was a great experience for Amy, and it allowed her to take a deep dive into veterans law for over two years. She did not realize it at the time, but she had discovered what would become her second career and her most fulfilling work.
Upon leaving the Court, Amy participated in The Veteran’s Consortium’s (TVC) Pro Bono Program training for outgoing federal clerks. This training was led by TVC’s Director of Outreach and Education, Margaret Bartley, who is now current Chief Judge of the CAVC. Amy took on her first CAVC case with the assistance of her mentor, Linda Blauhut, who is now the Deputy General Counsel for Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and was the Chair of the CAVC‘s Rules Advisory Committee. Having such accomplished mentors and role models in Judge Schoelen, Chief Judge Bartley, and Linda Blauhut was an invaluable learning experience and set Amy up to become a successful advocate and then mentor. Amy currently has her own Veterans Law practice in Iowa, representing veterans and their survivors in their VA appeals.
Amy has dedicated her legal career to helping veterans and their loved ones obtain the VA benefits they deserve. In addition to her practice, she teaches an upper-level course in Veterans Benefits Law at The University of Iowa College of Law, trains VSOs in effective veteran’s advocacy, and mentors law students on TVC cases on appeal to the CAVC. She is a highly respected advocate in the field of veterans law and chairs the CAVC Rules Advisory Committee.