(PRWEB) August 12, 2014
The head of the nationally renowned veterans legal clinic at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago is praising the American Bar Association for advocating the spread of similar clinics across the U.S.
“There is a distinct need for more veteran-related legal clinics throughout the country,” said Brian Clauss, executive director of the Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic at John Marshall. “The work our students and staff do on behalf of veterans helps many of our nation’s heroes, but the demand is great. The ABA's urging for more clinics like the VLSC demonstrates an important commitment from the legal education community to assuring that our veterans get the justice they deserve.”
During its annual meeting this week, the ABA adopted Resolution 104A, which states: “The American Bar Association encourages all law schools to create veterans law clinics to ensure that all veterans who cannot afford legal services can access them.”
John Marshall’s VLSC is one of the country’s first and largest law school veterans clinics. Students at the VLSC work under the supervision of practicing attorneys and professors assisting veterans in resolving Veterans Affairs benefits claims and other legal problems. The clinic first opened in 2007 and was among the first in the United States aimed at assisting veterans.
The VLSC recently was awarded a $25,000 grant from the American College of Trial Lawyers to organize and present a national conference for veterans clinics administrators. At the conference – to be held at John Marshall in Chicago Sept. 26-27, 2014 – VLSC staff and students will train personnel from other law schools across the country on how to establish, maintain and grow a veterans legal clinic.
The VLSC and the ABA have long been mutually supportive of addressing veterans legal issues. The two paired this year to host a series of webinars examining numerous issues where military and civilian law intersect. The series partners John Marshall with the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel and provides practicing attorneys with continuing legal education credit. The series continues this fall with sessions on post-traumatic stress disorder, veterans benefits, veterans courts and more.
Since its inception, VLSC law students have fielded on average more than 1,000 calls for assistance a year. From the color of paint on its walls to the open feel of its work areas, the 5,300-square-foot space was designed to focus on the needs of veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder.
For more information about the VLSC or to speak with Executive Director Brian Clauss, please contact Christine Kraly at 312-427-2737 ext. 171, or ckraly(at)jmls(dot)edu