location1101 Lake St., Suite 405A, Oak Park, IL 60301

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Catherine Cornell

Founder and Principal Attorney

My name is Catherine Cornell, and I am an attorney who works to get veterans and their families the benefits they deserve. I became interested in helping veterans with disabilities in college during an internship at CNN in Washington, DC when I researched a story about homeless veterans. After getting my master's degree in journalism, I worked in TV broadcasting for several years. I then left TV journalism to pursue a career in law.

After law school I worked as a litigator at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (now Legal Aid Chicago) for more than five years, helping some of Chicago's most impoverished residents with a variety of legal matters. After a short stint as one of the editors of the journal generated by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, I worked at a law firm where I got my start handling veterans compensation claims.

Seeing the frustration experienced by so many veterans and their family members trying to navigate the complicated VA system, I decided to establish my own law practice that focuses only on VA benefits. I handle cases at all levels of appeal, from the regional office level up to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Additionally, my father served honorably in the U.S. Air Force.

In addition to owning my own law practice, I serve on the board of the Veterans Legal Aid Society. I am also a sustaining member of the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates.

When I am not working on behalf of veterans and their families I love to bike, spend time with my family, read, hike, bake (I make a mean chocolate chip cookie) and play with our rescue dog, Rosie.

Practice Areas

Bar Admissions and Accreditations

  • Illinois, 2002
  • Supreme Court of Illinois, 2002
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2002
  • United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, 2009
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Accreditation, 2009

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, Illinois State Bar Association
  • Sustaining Member, National Organization of Veterans' Advocates
  • Board Member, Veterans Legal Aid Society

Honors and Awards

  • 2Civility Lawyer Spotlight: Catherine Cornell, The Veterans Practice, Ltd.

Published Works

  • VA Disability Benefits for Vietnam Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange and Other Herbicides, Illinois Lawyer Now, March 3, 2021.
  • When the Veteran Passes Away, Which Family Members can get Benefits? Illinois Lawyer Now, September 29, 2020.
  • VA Benefits for Family Members, Illinois Lawyer Now, September 24, 2020.
  • VA Unemployability: What is it and how can a Veteran get it? Illinois Lawyer Now, September 20, 2019.
  • New but Improved? An Overview of the new VA Appeals System for Disability Compensation Claims, Illinois Lawyer Now, March 24, 2019.
  • Tips for Veterans to Remember When Applying for VA Disability Compensation Benefits, AVVO, December 12, 2019.
  • Attention Veterans: Are you Having Trouble Getting Your VA Disability Benefits? Illinois Legal Aid Online, January 7, 2019.
  • The “C” File – an Invaluable Tool, Illinois Lawyer Now, July 6, 2018.
  • Military Sexual Trauma & VA Compensation Benefits, Illinois Lawyer Now, April 19, 2018.
  • How to Handle a VA C&P Examination, Illinois Lawyer Now, March 22, 2018.
  • Secondary Service Connection: When a Service-Connected Disability Caused a Second Disability, Illinois Lawyer Now, March 14, 2018.
  • Tips on How to Obtain VA Benefits, U.S. Veterans Magazine, Spring 2017.

The full text of these works can be found at my blog: https://veteranspracticeblog.com/

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