Veterans & Military Events

Every year the Celebrate Pro Bono calendar includes events focused on the legal needs of active military, veterans and their families. Stand Downs, law school veterans’ clinics, VA events and volunteer training are common events. Veterans Day, November 11, 2016, is also a great opportunity to plan an event serving current and former military personnel.

Examples of Events for Veterans and the Military

Veteran's Legal Advice Clinic Houston TX
Veterans' Legal advice clinics are held weekly at the Debakey VA Medical Center. The clinics are open to veterans and surviving spouses of veterans needing legal advice.
At a legal advice clinic, applicants meet with a licensed Texas attorney one-on-one and receive free advice on their legal issue. Individuals needing continued representation beyond the legal advice clinic generally must be residents of Harris County or surrounding counties, and have a household income of no greater than 300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Operation Stand Down Nashville (OSDN) Legal Advice Clinic  Nashville TN
Legal help for veterans on a variety of civil and criminal legal issues. 

Providing Advocacy and Representation to Veterans in the VA Claims Process    Memphis TN
Trainers from the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) explored the basics of the VA claims process and other legal issues confronting Veterans. The training is free and open to the public. Attorneys seeking free CLE will be asked to accept one pro bono case through our program within the next year. If you are an attorney who wishes to use this training to fulfill the VA's annual CLE requirement, please be advised that you must be accredited prior to the event.

NY City Bar Justice Center, Veterans Assistance Project Training on Advocacy Before the Department of Veterans Affairs    New York, NY
The City Bar Justice Center provided a training for AIG volunteer attorneys who then take on the direct representation of veterans seeking service connected disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This training will qualify as a VA accreditation training. The event is by invitation only.

This event is part of the City Bar Justice Center's "Falling for Pro Bono" campaign in celebration of National Pro Bono Week.
Coupled with the actual clinic
The City Bar Justice Center will hold an intake clinic for veterans suffering from service connected illness or injury. The volunteer attorneys will provide pro bono assistance to these veterans in connection with the filing of disability benefits claims before the New York City Regional Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Financial and Civil Protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)     Minneapolis, MN
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides important financial and civil protections for members of our military. Although the law has been in place for many years (it was formerly known as the Soldiers and Sailors Civil relief Act or SSCRA), a number of financial institutions and other entities that do business with servicemembers are not in full compliance with its provisions. Also, attorneys that represent servicemembers, their families or co-obligors need to have working knowledge of the protections so that they can properly advise their clients and represent their interests.

This presentation discussed which individuals are covered under the Act; when the protections begin and end; the purposes of the Act and Supreme Court decisions on how it is to be interpreted; the most often used financial provisions of the SCRA such as the interest rate caps, protections against foreclosure or repossession of servicemember property (personal or real); protections against default judgments; stay of proceedings when the servicemember is on active duty; private cause of action when rights under the Act have been violated, and; remedies available to servicemembers. With the ongoing deployments of our military men and women around the world, and the financial pressures faced by them and their families over the last decade, protections under the SCRA will continue to play an important role for servicemembers and the companies that do business with them.

Fillmore County Free Drop In Legal Clinic for Veterans     Preston MN
The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans' Vetlaw Program provides direct legal services through brief legal clinics across the state of Minnesota. By partnering with legal aid and pro bono attorneys, tribal organizations, and local, state, and federal government programs, the clinics are able to provide holistic services that address both the legal and non-legal aspects of barriers to individual and family stability in housing and employment. We are prepared to advise pro se litigants on a variety of legal issues, both civil and criminal. It is our hope to provide services as broadly as possible while maintaining quality control—many issues can be addressed by assisting the litigant with brief legal or factual research, which can be done on-site by volunteers. Experienced volunteer attorneys provide direction to law student volunteers, who will assist litigants with legal forms and understanding procedural requirements. The student volunteers can also assist with tasks such as document gathering and/or organization, drafting, and making out-of-state inquiries over the phone.

West Virginia Veterans Day of Service An Opportunity to Serve Those Who Served Our Country    Beckley WV
The West Virginia State Bar's Veterans and Military Affairs Committee will be hosted a webinar that was live in Beckley and  broadcast to the Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Clarksburg, Huntington, and Martinsburg. The webinar was approved for 2.0 hours of general West Virginia CLE credit. Attendance is FREE but attendees will be asked to stay at the VAMC for one hour after the seminar working directly with veterans who will be scheduled for appointments at each facility between noon and 1:00 p.m.

Veterans' Wills Clinic      Boise ID

The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program Training Seminar      Philadelphia, PA

The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program (The Veterans Consortium), is a non-profit organization created to provide every qualifying veteran and family member legal representation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims at no charge. The Veterans Consortium recruits volunteer attorneys to represent appellants before the Court without charge. In return for the free seminar, the attorney agrees to take a case previously screened by the Program. The volunteer attorney will receive extensive training materials on the day of the training. When an attorney accepts a case he or she will receive a copy of the Veterans Benefits Manual, on-going access to a mentor lawyer, and sample documents on the Program's private website.

Individual attorneys should contact their state or local bar associations to inquire whether a local event is scheduled. Alternatively, attorneys can consider volunteering directly with the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. Attorneys may register on to get involved:

Pro Bono Representation: Attorneys interested in providing pro bono legal assistance to military members may register to receive email notices of pro bono legal case opportunities from the Project when cases arise in the attorneys' geographic areas and substantive legal areas of expertise.

Operation Stand-By: Attorneys joining Operation Stand-By may periodically receive short calls or emails from military attorneys in need of consultation on substantive or jurisdiction-specific information relating to the attorneys’ areas of expertise, so the military attorneys can further assist their servicemember clients.

ABA Veterans Legal Services Initiative

In connection with ABA President Linda Klein’s ABA Veterans Legal Services Initiative, we encourage you to plan and participate in service to veterans as part of the 2016 Celebration. Legal barriers often keep veterans from receiving their rightful benefits and services, and many have unique legal needs in areas including family law, consumer law, housing, employment, criminal law, guardianships and conservatorships, administrative challenges resulting from service, and other matters.
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