Veterans law judge, 1984 Campbell grad to give Barden Forum Lecture

“After working for the Navy, I went to the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, but I wasn’t sure what degree to even pursue. I wanted to do something meaningful, and maybe even spiritual, with my career. But then I asked myself, “What’s so unspiritual about law?” I do believe God is calling people to secular professions to do great work there, helping people in the broadest sense.” — From a Q&A with Jeffrey Parker ’84 posted on the university’s Tumblr, We Are Campbell

BUIES CREEK — Jeffrey D. Parker, a veterans law judge and a 1984 magna cum laude graduate of Campbell University, will deliver the Barden Forum Lecture on Wednesday, March 26, in the Harris Teeter Auditorium in Maddox Hall on Campbell’s main campus.

The planned title of Parker’s lecture is “Government by the People: The Calling, Rewards and Challenges of Serving Veterans.” The talk will begin at 7:30 p.m., and is open to the public.

Parker was appointed by President Barack Obama in March 2011 as the veterans law judge with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, an agency of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. His duties include conducting hearings at offices across the U.S. and in the Philippines and ruling on veterans’ disability benefits claims appeals and related motions.

Parker first joined the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in 1995. His previous positions there were as counsel and senior counsel, which included conducting continuing legal education training for agency attorneys. He was also a contributing author to the 2009 Board of Veterans’ Appeals Veterans Law Review report “Two Perspectives on Legal Authority Within the Department of Veterans Affairs Adjudication,” which was presented at a national conference of lawyers and veterans agents at the National Organization for Veterans Advocates in April 2010.

Previously, Parker served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1988 to 1991. He was stationed in San Diego, Calif., where his legal positions included serving as a staff judge advocate aboard the USS Samuel Gompers on a Western Pacific tour and as a Physical Evaluating Board Hearing Panel attorney, a defense counsel and a legal assistance attorney.

Parker received his bachelor’s in government/pre-law from Campbell in 1984, and went on to earn a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987. He also completed two years of graduate studies at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1992 to 1994.

Begun in 1991, the annual Barden Forum Lecture is hosted by Campbell’s Department of History, Criminal Justice and Political Science. It’s named in honor of the late Graham A. Barden (1896-1967). He was first elected to represent North Carolina’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. Congress in 1934 and held the seat for 26 years. He was a long-time chair of the U.S. House’s Education and Labor Committee.