Widener Law offers training for attorneys interested in pro bono work for veterans
Public Relations - Published: May 22, 2014
Widener Law will present a half-day training for attorneys interested in assisting veterans with appeals for compensation claims before the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The event, “Pro Bono Representation Before the Department of Veterans Affairs,” will take place Wednesday, May 28 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. in the clinic wing of the law school, at 4601 Concord Pike, Wilmington.

The program will include an overview of the basics of representing veteran clients, including eligibility for benefits, pension and disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, claims procedures and appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeal and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. There will also be breakout sessions on topics like handling claims for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, other mental health issues, and more.

Attorneys already volunteering with a client’s case will have the opportunity to elicit feedback from one of the Veterans Law Clinic staff attorneys during the workshop sessions.

Attendance at the program is worth three continuing legal education credits for attorneys from Delaware, Pennsylvania and those accredited by Veterans Affairs. New Jersey attorneys may self report for credits with a certificate of attendance.

The registration fee is $75, but will be waived for attorneys who agree to take on a Veterans Law Clinic client pro bono or who already volunteer their legal services through the clinic.

“There are more veterans who need legal assistance than we are able to serve,” Clinic Director Susan Saidel said. “This program is our way of training lawyers who want to give something back to deserving veterans. In the process of adding to their skillset and engaging in a worthwhile community service, they will help us provide much needed legal representation to veterans.”

To register, visit law.widener.edu/VeteranProBono.

Widener University was among the first law schools in the United States to start a clinical program for disabled veterans. Through the Veterans Law Clinic, students work under the supervision of practicing attorneys to provide legal representation to disabled veterans and their dependents with Veterans Affairs compensation claim appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals. First known as the Veterans Assistance Program, Widener students began the work in 1997, when the school co-sponsored a program with the pro bono arm of the Delaware State Bar Association. It became known as the Veterans Law Clinic in January 2006 and today serves veterans primarily in Pennsylvania and Delaware.