Chief Judge Margaret Bartley

Chief Judge Margaret Bartley was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims by President Barack Obama on June 22, 2011, confirmed by the United States Senate on May 24, 2012, appointed by the President on June 25, 2012, and took the judicial oath on June 28, 2012, for a term of fifteen years. She became Chief Judge of the Veterans Court on December 4, 2019.

For over 17 years prior to her appointment, Chief Judge Bartley served as a veterans advocate, working as staff attorney and then senior staff attorney for National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), a veterans service organization. In that capacity, she advised and trained staff and service officers for The American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America, and other veterans service organizations and State departments of veterans affairs, on issues related to veterans benefits and veterans preference in Federal employment. She also represented veterans and survivors of veterans in their pursuit of VA benefits before the USCAVC and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. From 2004 to 2012, Chief Judge Bartley served as editor of the NVLSP veterans' law quarterly, The Veterans Advocate. She also testified before Congress concerning federal agency failure to apply veterans preference laws and appeared on behalf of amici curiae in several significant veterans preference cases.

From 2005 until her appointment to the bench, Chief Judge Bartley also served as Director of Outreach and Education for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. In that capacity, she organized nationwide training classes for lawyers interested in providing pro bono representation to veterans and their survivors before the USCAVC. Prior to her career as a veterans advocate, Chief Judge Bartley served as a judicial law clerk to the late Judge Jonathan R. Steinberg of the USCAVC. Chief Judge Bartley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Pennsylvania State University in 1981 and a juris doctor degree, cum laude, from the American University Washington College of Law in 1993.

Aside from her many articles on veterans law published in The Veterans Advocate, Chief Judge Bartley is co-author, co-editor, or contributing author of several other articles and publications, including the Veterans Benefits Manual (LexisNexis) (co-author 1999-2010, co-editor 2011-2012); American Veterans' and Servicemembers' Survival Guide (Veterans for America, 2008) (contributing author); VA Benefits for Low-Income Veterans (Clearinghouse Review, Sept-Oct 2006) (co-author); VA's Obligations Toward Claimants: Analysis of the Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000 (Clearinghouse Review, July-August 2001) (co-author); The Elderlaw Portfolio Series: Veterans Benefits for the Elderly (Little, Brown and Company, 1996) (co-author); and Consideration of Pain and Other Factors in Rating Disabilities (Clearinghouse Review, July-August 1996) (co-author).