Law students interested in veterans benefits issues should consider applying for our paid summer internship program. You can find more information at the link below:
Participation with the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
A number of law school clinical programs across the country teach law students how to handle VA benefit claims and appeals. Part of the mission of the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program is to encourage and facilitate pro bono representation of veterans and their surviving family members through these law school clinical programs. As explained below, we support these programs by training clinical professors and participating law students, providing them with cases from our Program, as well as mentoring and other resources.
We are happy to work with law school clinics who are interested in taking an appeals case. The Program requires participating clinics to have at least one supervising professor/advisor throughout a case. In most instances we require the professor/advisor who runs the clinical program be trained by the Program and to have handled at least one veterans appeal through the Program. (The training requirement may be waived in certain cases).
The training provided by the Veterans Consortium comes through a free day-long seminar which teaches attendees about veterans law and effective representation at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC).
As noted, a lawyer/professor who attends this training must agree to represent a veteran (or a surviving family member of a veteran) before the CAVC. Cases can take up to a year to complete and take about 50 to 60 hours if they do not require participation in an oral argument. Only about 1% of cases go to oral argument.
Any clinical advisor wishing to become involved in a clinical program or needing further information can contact Richard V. Spataro, Director of Outreach & Education at email@example.com or David Myers, Director of Case Evaluation & Placement at David.Myers@vetsprobono.org. If you’d like your law clinic or program to be added to our list (below), please send a description of your clinic’s mission and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, if you are considering starting a veterans law school clinic or service program, we strongly recommend contacting a few of the many clinics already in operation:
Grants for Law School Veterans Clinics
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program offers grants to law school veterans clinics to support work on behalf of veterans and loved ones. The number and amount of grants awarded will vary based upon the total funds available for distribution. The Program receives donated funds from law firms and individuals who wish to support veterans and their family members. It is with these funds that the Program offers grants to law school veterans clinics.
General Instructions & Guidelines
Applicants should present, in a clear and concise manner, a detailed description of the circumstances of the clinic for which funds are requested. Upon review, additional information may be requested to substantiate the funding request.
The number and amount of grants awarded will vary based upon, among other things, the total funds available for distribution. Normal grant amounts will range between $5,000-$10,000.
Period of Review
The Program will complete the review of each grant application and provide a decision within one month of receipt.
Review Criteria & Procedure
Various factors which may be considered in determining the grant awards and amount of the grant awards include but are not limited to:
- Purpose of the Veterans Law Clinic
- Law Clinic Budget
- Purpose for which the funds will be used
- Oversight of the Legal Clinic
- Clinic Staffing
- Student Participation Outcome
- Impact of funds on the Law Clinic and the Clinic’s service to Veterans
For additional information please contact the Pro Bono Program’s Director of Case Evaluation & Placement, David Myers, between 9:00am and 4:30pm (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday, Toll Free at (888) 838-7727 or David.Myers@vetsprobono.org.
Access to Veterans Law Training Only
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program is offering our 6.5 hour online training regarding practice at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and veterans benefits law to faculty and students of law school clinics and nonprofit organizations that are practicing at the Court. Access to the training is available by contacting Richard Spataro at email@example.com or 202-265-8305, ext. 149, or Daniella Furey at Daniella_Furey@nvlsp.org or 202-265-8305, ext. 155.
This training is offered for free to law clinics and nonprofit organizations, but the Pro Bono Program will not assign your law school clinic or nonprofit a case at the Court based on this training alone. Nor is the Pro Bono Program able to provide mentoring or sample documents–please see above about participating with the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program for getting involved as a partner law school clinic.