Staff

Ana Maria C.B. Bondoc is an AmeriCorps Legal Fellow for 2017-2018. She attended Loyola University New Orleans College of Law (J.D., 2016), where she was a member of the Moot Court Executive Board and an officer in the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. She is also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.A., 2012).

Coco Culhane is the founder and director of the Veteran Advocacy Project at the Urban Justice Center. She is an adjunct professor of clinical law at Brooklyn Law School, where she teaches the Veterans’ Rights Clinic. Culhane sits on Senator Gillibrand’s Service Academy Selection Committee, a panel that makes recommendations for the senator’s academy nominations, and she is also a founding advisor to the NYC Veterans Alliance. From 2011-2013 she was an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by the CIGNA Foundation and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  She was formerly on the Steering Committee of the Veterans’ Mental Health Coalition and chaired the Communications Committee in New York City for two years. She has presented on veterans’ legal issues and conducted trainings for attorneys, social workers, and students at conferences across the country. Culhane received a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, where she was the symposium editor of the Brooklyn Law Review and president of the student health law association. Prior to law school she was an editor at The New Republic for six years. She received a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University.

Christopher Schmitt is a staff attorney at the Veteran Advocacy Project.  His work focuses on discharge upgrades and record corrections.  Prior to working at VAP, Christopher was a litigation associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Boston, MA.  While in Boston, he was a member of the Boston Bar Association’s Veterans Committee and worked with various Boston-based veterans organizations, including Massachusetts Fallen Heroes and Harvard Law School’s Veterans Legal Clinic.  Christopher is a United States Army veteran, with his duty assignments including a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. in 2005, and received his J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School in 2014.

Charles Western is the intake advocate at the Veteran Advocacy Project. Prior to working at VAP, Charles worked at the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand where he specialized in Military and Veterans Affairs. He has also worked at the Human Rights Division of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. Charles has a B.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.