HOW CAN YOU HELP: VETERAN LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROJECT PRO BONO CLINIC MODEL
In July 2016, Neighborhood Legal Services Program will begin hosting monthly drop-in days at our offices across the District for veterans who are in need of civil legal aid. VLAP will aim to partner with four law firms who will staff three drop-in days each year with attorneys and paralegals. The volunteers will commit to four-hour shifts, and during the clinic hours they would:
- Participate in a 30-minute orientation.
- Conduct intake interviews and provide referrals.
- Assist with DD-214 discharge upgrade clinics conducted by the DC Office on Veterans Affairs.
Each firm will be assigned a group of up to 10 current disability and discharge upgrade cases. Volunteers will use the time in the clinic to help us request and review military files and medical records, analyze Official Military Personnel Files to identify a nexus for service-connected disabilities, and meet with clients.
At any time, a law firm or volunteer attorney can ask to take on a prospective or current veteran client as a pro bono client. The volunteer can continue to use the monthly clinics as an opportunity to consult with NLSP attorneys, meet with their clients and work on case-related tasks.
To learn more about the Veterans Legal Assistance Project see www.nlsp.org/veterans
Questions about outreach, partnerships and pro bono opportunities can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRO BONO SPOTLIGHT: DUANE MORRIS LLP
Duane Morris LLP, an original member of the Capital Area Veterans Collaborative, has taken the lead in providing extended direct pro bono representation of VLAP applicants for their disability claims and discharge upgrades. NLSP commends Duane Morris for their commitment to serving those who served.