Faculty Directory

Hillary Wandler

Professor

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Personal Summary

Professor Wandler teaches courses in legal analysis and writing and veterans disability law, and she is Director of the School of Law’s in-house Veterans Advocacy Clinic. She has served as Associate Dean of Students (2017-2019) and Interim Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program (present appointment along with Professor Monte Mills).  Professor Wandler is admitted to practice in Montana state and federal courts and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and she is accredited to practice before the Department of Veterans Affairs. Professor Wandler joined the School of Law faculty in 2008 after clerking for Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James R. Browning, clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Donald W. Molloy, and practicing law with Garlington, Lohn & Robinson in Missoula, Montana. She continues to represent veterans in disability claims and appeals, collaborating with students in the Veterans Advocacy Clinic. She received her B.A. cum laude from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and her J.D. high honors from the University of Montana School of Law. 

Education

  • The University of Montana School of Law, J.D., with high honors 2004
  • Concordia College, B.A., cum laude 1999 

Teaching Experience

Professor Wandler has been teaching at the School of Law since 2008.  She has taught legal analysis and writing courses, Civil Procedure I, and academic study skills courses at various times throughout her tenure at the School of Law.  Starting in 2009, Professor Wandler began teaching an elective covering a variety of legal and policy issues for military veterans, and she has offered Veterans Law and related Continuing Legal Education courses since.  In 2015, she began clinical teaching by representing veterans with 3L students; now she practices with 3L student in the in-house Veterans Law Clinic.  Outside of the School of Law, Professor Wandler has regularly taught Continuing Legal Education courses in legal writing, civil litigation, and legal issues for veterans.   

Research Interests

Professor Wandler researches legal and policy issues for military veterans, as well as policy issues related to rural residents' access to legal services.

Selected Publications

Resource Guide: Honoring Veterans, 29 Tribal College: J. Am. Indian Higher Educ. (Winter 2017).

Helping Native American Veterans with VA Claims: New Opportunities for Tribes and Tribal Colleges, 29 Tribal College: J. Am. Indian Higher Educ. (Winter 2017).

Spreading Justice to Rural Montana: Expanding Local Legal Services in Underserved Rural Communities, 77 Mont. L. Rev. 235 (2016).

Spreading Justice to Rural Montana: Rurality’s Impacts on Supply and Demand of Legal Services in Montana, 76 Mont. L. Rev. 225 (2015).

Extended Exposure:  Advising Veterans of Federal Criminal Jurisdiction over In-Service Conduct, 61 Fed. Lawyer 14 (Nov. 2014).

The Role of Culture in Advocating for Accurate Diagnosis and Rating of Veterans’ Psychological Disabilities, 2 Mental Health Law & Policy J. 1 (2013).

A New Way for Lawyers to Assist Veterans, 34 Mont. Lawyer 8 (June 2009).

Will Montana Breathe Life into its Positive Constitutional Right to Equal Educational Opportunity?, 65 Mont. L. Rev. 343 (2004).

Professional Experience

Professor Wandler clerked for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge James R. Browning, after graduating from law school.  She then clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula.  In 2006, Professor Wandler joined the firm of Garlington, Lohn & Robinson in Missoula, where she represented individuals and corporations in civil litigation.  Professor Wandler also began representing veterans in disability compensation cases in 2006, and she has continued representing veterans throughout her career, expanding to discharge upgrade applications and other VA-related issues over the past few years. 

During her tenure at the School of Law, Professor Wandler has taught several courses and served in administrative roles.  She served as Associate Dean of Students from Spring 2017 to Winter 2019, and she currently serves as Interim Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program.

International Experience

Professor Wandler taught Comparative Civil Practice in the Summer Study Abroad China Program in 2015.

Honors / Awards

  • Faculty Public Service Award, AY 2018–2019
  • University of Montana Student Services Award, AY 2014–2015
  • Heman Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, AY 2012-2013 & AY 2013–2014
  • Faculty Public Service Award, AY 2011–2012
  • Teacher of the Year, AY 2010–2011