Attending the Access to Justice for Veterans conference at Pepperdine Law was eye-opening. The conference was meant to advance the understanding of veterans issues and showcase and discuss the need for improvements and expansions of services for veterans from both the VA, non-profit organizations, and student-run clinics at law schools. The panelists emphasized that the care for veterans is a part of the cost of war.
Today, there is an increased need for services to veterans due to the fact that there are more survivors of war with more debilitating and lifelong injuries that require attention. Particularly, veterans have a strong need for legal assistance in filing disability compensation claims with the VA. This is a spot where law students, like me, can help. The Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic, for example, at the William and Mary Law School, provides free legal representation for veterans who do not have the means to hire an attorney. The Puller Clinic has helped veterans receive more than a million dollars in disability compensation benefits.
The conference, overall, has made me more adamant to participate as a law student in clinics and organizations that provide services for veterans. My first stop will be to work with Pepperdine Law’s Justice Bus!