VIP: Volunteer Inspiring Pro Bono

Each quarter, The Veterans Consortium recognizes a “VIP” – Volunteer Inspiring Pro Bono. TVC values all our volunteers and wishes to recognize those who inspire others.

In 2007 a colleague told Christopher Aldo Porco about a pro bono opportunity to represent veterans and their families at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). When he tried to register for TVC’s CAVC training, he was told it was full, and no seats were available. He decided to show up on the off chance there would be a seat and as luck would have it, someone didn’t show, and he took the one available spot. This was a very lucky day for TVC, as Chris has come to be one of our most valued volunteers.

When Chris became a TVC volunteer, he had no personal connection to the military. Neither he nor anyone in his family had served. That all changed in 2010 when he decided to join the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Chris credits his work with TVC and his respect for the veterans he was representing for this decision. He admired the sacrifices that our U.S. military members make to serve their country and he wanted to do the same. Chris deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and upon his return he transferred to the Michigan Air National Guard, where he currently serves. 

One of Chris’s most memorable cases was in his early days as a TVC volunteer when he represented a Vietnam era veteran who struggled with severe PTSD and was denied service connection for several decades. Chris successfully represented the veteran at the Court and stayed with his case when it was remanded to the Board. The veteran was ultimately rated 100% disabled and received a significant amount in back pay and ongoing monthly payments. These outcomes truly change the lives of veterans that are struggling with such severe service-connected issues. Chris is still in contact with this veteran, and they exchange birthday calls each year.

Chris is one of TVC’s most experienced attorneys who we call on for our most advanced cases. He is an invaluable member of our team who has been with us for 15 years and represented veterans and their loved ones in over 100 TVC cases! He also participates in the Court’s Rule 33 pilot program administered by TVC, a program that offers self-represented appellants the opportunity to have representation at a Court-mediated conference with VA counsel to discuss early resolution of their case. He has represented eight veterans in this Rule 33 pilot program.

“Chris Porco is an incredibly valuable member of our National Volunteer Corps. As an experienced attorney and veteran, he can take the most advanced cases. Additionally, he is skilled at working with clients who need additional attention due to anger and frustration with their experience with the VA process to obtain benefits. We’re lucky to have him as a volunteer and this recognition is highly deserved.” Samantha Higgs, Deputy Director, Case Evaluation & Litigation.

Chris currently has his own law practice and provides pro bono legal representation to disabled veterans seeking compensation from the VA for their service-connected illnesses and injuries. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from Alma College, a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University School of Law, and a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University. Prior to practicing law, he served as the judicial law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

“I feel extremely lucky to be a volunteer attorney with The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program. I happened to come across one of their training sessions in 2007 and have been fortunate to represent many veterans since then. Helping veterans has been so fulfilling that it catalyzed me to join the Air Force Reserve almost thirteen years ago and I continue military service in the Air National Guard today. The attorneys and staff members at TVC have been immensely helpful to me as I strive to obtain favorable outcomes for all my clients.”

The staff at TVC is grateful to have someone as skillful as Chris working on behalf of the veterans we serve, and we thank him for his service to our country. He is a respected member of our TVC National Volunteer Corps and truly a Volunteer who Inspires Pro Bono (VIP).

Past VIPs