Law Clinic Partners & Law Students
Law Student Internships & Externships
FALL 2018 & SPRING 2019 EXTERNSHIPS
We are seeking an extern to receive academic credit to help us win federal appeals cases for our clients, to help with military discharge upgrades ("bad paper" discharges), and to assist with determining the final outcomes of client cases.
The extern will support full-time staff attorneys, volunteer attorneys, and clients who appeal to, or receive a remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court. The selected extern will assist in the full lifecycle of case management, from intake to research and strategy, to Court mandate and follow-up to determine real-world results and impact. Although any student may apply, we give priority to rising 3L students. We are open to externships that count for either one course per semester, or two courses per semester, depending on your law school's current arrangements and preference.
TO APPLY: Submit a resume and a cover letter detailing your interest and motivation to Courtney Smith, at Courtney.Smith@vetsprobono.org. Please address the following questions in your cover letter:
- Why do you want to work in the area of veterans law?
- What is your motivation to work with veterans and their families, caregivers, or survivors?
- What sets you apart from other candidates?
DEADLINES: Applications should be emailed by:
- 1 September 2018, for the Fall 2018 semester
- 15 December 2018 for the Spring 2019 semester
QUESTIONS? Email Courtney Smith at Courtney.Smith@vetsprobono.org for answers to questions or additional information about our externship programs.
Law Clinic Partners
Partnering with The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
Dave Myers in West Virginia University Veterans Law Clinic
A number of law school clinical programs across the country teach law students about veterans law and 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, their loved ones, and their surviving family members through these law school clinical programs. We support these law clinic partners by providing “Clinic-in-a-Box” materials, by training clinical professors and participating law students, by providing them with screened pro bono cases from The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, plus mentoring support and some grant opportunities (please see below for information about grants).
We are happy to work with law school clinics who are interested in taking an appeals case as a program Partner. The Veterans Consortium requires participating law 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 Veterans Consortium and to have handled at least one veterans appeal through the Pro Bono 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).
Any lawyer/professor who attends this training must agree to represent a veteran (or a veteran’s loved one or surviving family member) before the CAVC. Cases can take up to a year to complete and take about 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 Samantha Stiltner, Staff Attorney, at Samantha.Stiltner@vetsprobono.org. If you’d like your law clinic or program to be added to our group of schools (below), please send a description of your clinic’s mission and contact information to Sandy.Peterson@vetsprobono.org. Additionally, if you are considering starting a veterans law school clinic or service program, please contact us so we can assist you.
Grants for Law School Veterans Clinics
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program offers grants to law school veterans clinics to launch their operations or to advance their work on behalf of veterans and their loved ones or their survivors. The number and amount of grants awarded will vary based upon the total funds available for distribution that fiscal year and the number of grant applications received.
General Instructions & Guidelines
All applicants must complete the grant application. Currently we are not accepting grant applications. Please check back in the near future for the next grant awards period.
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 that fiscal year and the number of grant applications received. Normal grant amounts will range between $5,000-$10,000.
Deadlines and Period of Review
The Veterans Consortium will complete the review of each grant application and provide a timely decision. Grant applications received between July 1st and November 30th each year will receive notification of grant decisions in the month of December or 45 days from submittal, whichever comes first. Grant applications received between January 1st and May 31st each year will receive notification of grant decisions in the month of June or 45 days from submittal, whichever comes first.
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 law clinic
- Clinic staffing
- Student participation outcome(s)
- Impact of funds on the law clinic and the clinic’s service to veterans
- Number of grant applications received
- Funds available in the fiscal year
- Receipt of a previous grant from The Veterans Consortium
For additional information please contact Samantha Stiltner, Staff Attorney, at 202-733-3317 or Samantha.Stiltner@vetsprobono.org.