Law School Events: GGU School of Law’s Fifth Annual Veterans Law Conference

GGU School of Law's Fifth Annual Veterans Law Conference

Recognizing the Military Service of Women and LGBT Veterans:
Promoting Achievements & Solving Challenges

November 3, 2017, 9 am - 12 pm PDT
Golden Gate University, 536 Mission Street, Room 2203, San Francisco, CA 94105

Conference attendees may earn up to three hours of MCLE credit.

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Colonel Linda Strite Murane

Colonel Linda Strite Murnane

United States Air Force (retired)
Chair of the American Bar Association Judicial Division

Colonel Murnane served for nearly 30 years on active duty with the United States Air Force, serving in a variety of positions, including ten years as a military judge or chief circuit military judge. She was the Chief Circuit Judge for Europe and the Eastern Judicial Circuit, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C. She presided at the first criminal trials for the U.S. Air Force during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom in the war zone, deploying five times in support of those operations between 2001 and 2003.

Most recently she served as the Chief, Court Management Services Section at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Leidschendam, The Netherlands until her retirement in May 2017. Ms. Murnane previously served as the Judicial Bailiff for The Honorable Anne Taylor at the Franklin County, Ohio, Municipal Court from 2013 to 2014. Prior to joining Judge Taylor's Chamber, Ms. Murnane served as the Chief, Court Management and Support Services for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Netherlands.

Colonel Murnane began her career as an Airman Basic, the lowest enlisted grade in the U.S. Air Force, and retired as a colonel in 2004. Her military decorations include the Legion of Merit, and the Meritorious Service Medal with bronze and silver oak leaf cluster. She completed the Air Force Squadron Officer School, the Air Force Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.

Colonel Murnane is the Immediate Past Chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Judicial Division, and is a past Chair of the National Conference of Specialized Jurisdiction Court Judges (NCSCJ) for the Judicial Division, and currently serves as the ABA House of Delegates Representative for the NCSCJ. She currently serves on the ABA Section of International Law Executive Council. She is a past Chair and former member of the ABA's Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law, and a past Co-Chair and current Senior Advisor to the ABA Section of International Law's U.S. Lawyers Abroad Committee.

Colonel Murnane has participated in training programs as an adjunct faculty member for the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, training judges, lawyers and civilian leaders in Liberia, Rwanda, Zambia, Argentina, Latvia, and Papua New Guinea, on a wide range of legal topics.

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Michael P. Burnias

Michael P. Burnias, PsyD

Staff Psychologist at the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) and Downtown Clinic (DTC)

Burnias is the preceptor of the Interprofessional LGBTQ Health Care Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship at the SFVAHCS. He is the LGBQ Special Emphasis Program Manager, focusing on creating an inclusive environment for LGBQ VA employees. He is also the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator at SFVAHCS which is the primary contact for questions regarding care for LGBTQ Veterans.

Dr. Burnias obtained his PsyD in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. He completed his Clinical Internship at the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital and his Postdoctoral Fellowship in LGBTQ Health Care at the SFVAMC. Dr. Burnias' main clinical interests involve LGBTQ health care, identity development across the lifespan, cultural competency/humility, and psycho-diagnostic assessments.

Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

Retired Navy Commander

Zoe Dunning is an Annapolis graduate, retired Navy Commander and long time advocate for LGBTQ rights in the U.S. Military. In 1993 she publicly came out as lesbian to challenge the military's ban on gay service members, won her 2.5 year legal battle and served openly for thirteen years until her retirement in 2007. She served for 10 years as the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, providing legal services for those impacted by Don't Ask, Don't Tell and advocating for its repeal. She currently is a change management strategy consultant for Future State and lives in San Francisco.

Heliana Ramirez

Heliana Ramirez, PhD, LISW

Lead LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System

Dr. Ramirez serves as the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System's Lead LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator to provide a conduit for LGBT Veteran Care Policies and concerns between VA Central Office and local VA Medical Center staff. She founded the VA Palo Alto LGBT Veteran Support Group in 2011, the LGBT Staff and Allies Special Emphasis Program in 2012, and earned Producer credit in the documentary film The Camouflage Closet in 2013 with Director Michael Nedelman and nine LGBT Veterans from VA Palo Alto.

She has published several articles and book chapters addressing LGBT Military Minority Stress, Strength, and Resilience and LGBT Veteran Clinical Care. Dr. Ramirez has presented over 30 LGBT Veteran Care trainings to staff across VA Palo Alto, San Francisco VA, the National Guard, Army Reserves, universities, and professional conferences. Finally, she serves on the national VA Office of Diversity and Inclusion LGBT Workgroup where she co-authored the VA Transition at Work Policy for transgender employees and has led VA Palo Alto in establishing an All Gender Bathroom Project and garnering the rating of Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign since 2013.

Stephen Zollman

Stephen Zollman

Vice-Chair of the ABA Judicial Division Lawyers Conference

As a former Swords to Plowshares staff attorney, Zollman continues to advocate for the needs of his fellow Veterans in various areas of the law. Currently he is representing parents who have had child abuse and neglect allegations filed against them. Many of these parents have sustained multiple traumas themselves.

Of the twelve years he spent at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, he represented trauma-impacted youth and their families. He started his own Veteran-owned firm to continue to serve the family law needs of low-income people while at the same time advocating for all necessary services. He has extensive experience working with those who have mental health and developmental disabilities.

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Thomson Reuters


  • ABA Judicial Division
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • GGU Veterans Law Student Association
  • JVS
  • Legal Aid Society
  • One Justice
  • Queens Bench
  • Swords to Plowshares

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, please contact Dan Devoy at 415-442-6679 or

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Upon leaving military service, women veterans face unique challenges and opportunities that their male counterparts do not. These challenges include access to comprehensive health care, discrimination and violations of the repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, and living in a society that does not fully recognize their contributions. However, women comprise 10% of all veterans, and that number is expected to rise to 15% by the year 2030. They are younger, more diverse, and more likely to be employed than male veterans. Despite these facts, women veterans often fall through the cracks within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Fifth Annual Veterans Conference will focus on these issues and explore solutions to benefit a deserving population.

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Students working with GGU Law's Veterans Legal Advocacy Center (VLAC) help underserved veterans gain access to legal representation and ensure that former military members get access to the medical care and disability benefits they earned. Participating students research the validity of each claim and submit persuasive briefs to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense in support of their case.

If you participate in VLAC, you will work under the supervision of a veterans' rights attorney while you interview and work with clients to obtain all information necessary to support their claims. The VLAC, and its student clinicians, have helped clients obtain thousands of dollars in benefits and upgrade their discharges to honorable conditions.

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