Neil Woods, President
Western Michigan University, J.D., 2014
University of Evansville, Masters of Public Administration, 2011
Western Kentucky University, B.A., 2008
Favorite TV shows
History and nature documentaries, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development
String Cheese Incident, Pretty Lights, Chromeo, The Floozies
Neil is working to turn several former farms in southern Indiana into wetlands. He has planted thousands of trees and envisions a future nature preserve full of bald cypress trees, hardwood forests, pollinator fields, and wildlife food acreage so future generations can connect with the outdoors.
The Woods family once found a VA pension document for a distant relative during some genealogy research.
The man had been shot in the hip during the Civil War, applied for benefits, and lived the rest of his days as a veteran with a disability.
When Neil tells this story, he focuses on one detail in the document.
“His claim was processed in six and a half months,” he said. “I mean, his mail would have been carried on the back of a horse, and they were deciding VA benefits faster than they are today.”
This is how several of Neil’s stories end – with a punchline that is one part history lesson and one part commentary.
He has a consistent message: veterans deserve more.
It is a guiding principle in our veterans disability law practice. It keeps our attorneys and staff fighting every day for veterans – especially those who are unable to work because of their disabilities and widows of veterans who have died.
“Those cases are the reason you go to law school,” he said. “It’s your chance to be Atticus Finch, go out and help somebody, and do the right thing.”
Neil believes so much in helping veterans that he shares his knowledge by consulting other law firms and teaching at national legal conferences.
Yet, he wishes none of it was necessary.
“As much as I love my job, veterans shouldn’t have to hire a lawyer to get benefits,” he said. “ They shouldn’t need us. We shouldn’t be here. I should be doing another area of law.”