R. Joseph Pilgrim is a Veterans Affairs attorney who upholds, protects, and defends the rights of clients in a variety of legal matters relating to the military. As a disabled Veteran himself, Joe is committed to assisting Veterans who need legal assistance and he knows exactly what it is like to be denied benefits that he earned while serving his country. He is VA accredited attorney and member of the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates.
Joe attended Washburn University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, his law degree and his seat as the President of the Veterans Legal Association. While in law school, Joe founded the Washburn Legal Assistance Clinic providing legal service to Veterans, which led to him being selected as Student of the Year for the Midwest Region by National Jurist Magazine. He was also awarded the Irvine E. Ungerman Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice.
Joe is a proud Veteran, having served in the United States Navy. During his service in the United States Navy, he was posted at both NAS Whidbey Island and the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) – the very same ship that his grandfather served on many years before. He worked primarily in the avionics navigation, communication, radar, and weapons systems labs, supporting forward-deployed Sailors and Marines in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in the Persian Gulf. Joe has judged academic debates, guided at-risk youth through the Youth Ambassadors of Kansas City program, supports and participates in the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, has guest lectured at both Kansas University and the University of Kansas – Missouri on issues concerning 1st Amendment rights, corporate free speech, and its impact on the medical community as well as Executive and Judicial discretion in criminal matters.
Joe is an avid dog owner and enjoys playing golf in his spare time. He appreciates discussing Plato, Socrates, Descartes, Locke, and other philosophical minds regarding current societal issues.