Equal Justice Works®, a national nonprofit organization focused on mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice, has created Veterans Legal Corps – 36 lawyers and 200 law students, serving the needs of low-income and homeless veterans. Equal Justice Works received AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service/AmeriCorps. Equal Justice Works will place the lawyers and law students in legal aid organizations and courts across the country to improve the lives of veterans and their families by helping them secure access to income, housing, employment, and health care.
About Veterans Legal Corps: Veterans frequently face complicated legal problems stemming from physical and mental injuries sustained during military service. When these legal problems go unresolved, they can quickly multiply, creating insurmountable barriers to successful civilian life. An annual survey by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs consistently shows that legal needs are among the top unmet needs of homeless and low-income veterans. Lawyers play key roles in resolving the complex and intertwined legal issues veterans face. The ultimate goal of the Veteran Legal Corps is to improve the lives of veterans – once relied upon to serve their country as members of the armed forces – and enable them to return to civilian life as successful community members.
Over the next three years, Veterans Legal Corps Fellows and law students will provide legal assistance to lowincome and homeless veterans with issues related to disability benefits claims, barriers to housing and employment, debt, family law, and other legal issues. Fellows will serve at organizations across the country such as Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles, California; Legal Aid Society of Cleveland in Ohio; Land of Lincoln Assistance Foundation in Champaign, Illinois; Legal Assistance of Western New York in Jamestown, New York; and the University Of Miami School Of Law in Florida.
The first class of Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Veterans Legal Corps members will begin their service in September and serve for two years. Lawyers interested in becoming a Veterans Legal Corps member can visit the Equal Justice Works website for host site locations and available positions. Equal Justice Works will continue to post more fellowship positions through the end of July as they become open. Applicants should check the website regularly. Law students interested in becoming part of the Veterans Legal Corps should apply directly with legal aid organizations. A list of organizations serving veterans can be found on the Equal Justice Works website.
For additional information on the Veterans Legal Corps program and Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships, visit www.equaljusticeworks.org.