April 04, 2014, WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today hosted the first national forum for law schools and legal organizations that provide free legal help to Veterans.
Called “Vet Law 2014,” the forum welcomed attorneys, law students and legal aid organizations that provide pro bono services to Veterans, especially homeless Veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless.
“The unmet legal needs of Veterans are one of the root causes of homelessness,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Working with partners in law schools and the legal community, we can improve the lives of these vulnerable Veterans.”
The forum is designed to educate legal providers on the most pressing legal needs of Veterans. VA officials and Veterans Service Organizations shared best practices for providing legal and benefits assistance to Veterans. The forum built on the partnerships at 45 VA medical facilities across the nation, which have housed legal service clinics since 2011.
“We are pleased that so many law schools and legal groups have joined us in this effort to assist Veterans with their legal issues and their applications for benefits,” Shinseki said.
Issues on the agenda includde legal assistance for eviction and foreclosure prevention; child support issues; outstanding warrants and fines; accessing public benefits; guardianship; clearing up bad credit; expunging criminal records; and family law matters, such as child support, child custody and divorce.