The National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA) is a not-for-profit educational membership organization incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1993. NOVA represents more than 500 attorneys and agents assisting tens of thousands of our nation’s military veterans, their widows, and their families seeking to obtain their earned benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and works to develop and encourage high standards of service and representation for all persons seeking VA benefits. NOVA members represent veterans before all levels of VA’s disability claims process, as well as before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Federal Circuit.
In support of its primary mission of educating advocates, NOVA holds two three-day conferences each year, one in the fall and another in the spring. Just last month in Providence, R.I., NOVA hosted more than 300 attendees to discuss the latest developments in veterans’ law. NOVA attracts experts from around the country to include advocates, VA representatives, and federal judges, to present on current legal issues. NOVA’s next conference will take place from April 20-22, 2017 in San Antonio. NOVA offers a limited amount of scholarships for interested professors and students. Apply for one here – the deadline is Feb. 27.
NOVA also forged a unique partnership with Public Counsel Law Center’s Center for Veterans Advancement (CVA) in 2009 to create the CVA/NOVA Pro Bono Advocates Program. The goal of the program is to fight veterans’ homelessness by providing competent, pro bono representation before the VA and other venues. Since the program’s inception, CVA/NOVA pro bono advocates have secured over $1 million in benefits for veterans. In addition, these advocates have helped veterans secure access to health services, medication, counseling, and housing.
“Clearly, the collaboration between NOVA and Public Counsel through its pro bono advocates program has enabled us to help stem the tide of homelessness among our veteran population, strike out at the ravages of poverty, and provide our national heroes with the life they deserve – free from poverty and despair,” CVA Director and Program Manager Rick Little said.