In addition to Lawyers for Heroes below is additional information on legal resources.
American Bar Association offers several programs to assist caregivers and veterans. Program descriptions follow:
The ABA Military Pro Bono Project connects junior-enlisted servicemembers and their dependents to pro bono lawyers to assist in resolving legal issues in a wide range of civil matters, including family law, landlord/tenant, creditor/debtor and consumer law, wills and trusts, and guardianships and powers of attorney. To qualify for a pro bono attorney through the project, the following requirements apply:
The Military Pro Bono Project website has details on legal services for current and former military members and their families. To locate the nearest military legal assistance office that can make referrals to the project, visit their directory. Note that military legal assistance attorneys are also often available for consultation at polytrauma centers and other military medical facilities.
ABA Home Front is an online resource designed to help military members and veterans and their families find legal information, referrals, and representation for civil legal matters. The ABA Home Front website includes the following:
Later in 2014, the ABA Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network will begin accepting applications for pro bono legal assistance from veterans with pending disability compensation claims made to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). The goal of the project is to connect these veterans with pro bono lawyers who will assist with completion of the veterans’ claims, which will then receive expedited processing by the VBA. In the pilot phase of the project, only veterans who are 1) currently unrepresented in the claims application process; 2) whose claims are in defined regional offices; and 3) who have been contacted by the VA about eligibility for the program will receive referrals to pro bono lawyers. Learn more about this initiative, and check back regularly for updates on expansion of eligibility as the project grows beyond the pilot phase.
Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement. Public Counsel is the nation’s largest nonprofit law firm specializing in delivering pro bono legal services. Through a pro bono model that leverages the talents and dedication of thousands of attorney and law student volunteers nationwide, Public Counsel annually assists more than 30,000 families, children, immigrants, veterans, and nonprofit organizations and addresses systemic poverty and civil rights issues through impact litigation and policy advocacy.
Public Counsel’s nationally accredited Center for Veterans Advancement is driven by its core principle to “uphold our nation’s promise to veterans and their families.” In advancing efforts to support our nation’s veterans and their dependents and those who care for them, the Center for Veterans Advancement is committed to providing qualified participants with assistance and/or representation in accessing the following earned benefits and services, including, but not limited to:
To qualify for access to Public Counsel’s extensive pro bono resources, caregivers and veterans are required to have an annual household income less than twice the federal poverty guidelines, excluding income received from any disability, welfare, pension, Social Security, or other federal, state or local benefits.
Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement has additional information available on their website. For an initial consultation, please call (213) 385-2977, ext. 302. If a counselor is not immediately available, your call will be returned within 48 hours.