MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA — Veterans throughout the state will benefit from a $10,000 donation to the West Virginia University College of Law from a veterans legal organization based in Washington, DC.
Dave Meyers (right), director of case evaluation and placement for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, presented the check to Gregory Bowman, dean of the College of Law, during the Veterans Stand Down held recently at the Morgantown National Guard Armory.
The money will be used by the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic at the College of Law to provide outreach and legal services throughout the state, according to clinic director Jennifer Oliva.
“We have a large veteran population in the southern part of the state, an area that has a high unemployment rate and a high rate of drug use,” explained Oliva. “As part of our land-grant mission and as the only veterans clinic in the state, it’s very important for us to be able to provide our services.”
The grant will also help pay for much-needed medical and psychiatric evaluations for veterans across the state who don’t have access to VA medical care.
“For example, there are veterans suffering from PTSD who are really deserving of their claim, but they can’t afford to pay for a psychiatrist,” said Oliva. “Every veteran deserves to get an examination that will establish their claim and their right to healthcare services.”
Oliva also said that grant will give the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic an opportunity to take on more cases statewide and serve veterans that have been underrepresented in the past.
About the WVU Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic
Under faculty supervision, student in the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic represent the state’s veterans in litigation before administrative agencies and courts on benefits, discharge upgrades, employment claims, and other civil and criminal matters. In addition, law students represent local and national organizations in non-litigation matters relating to the legal needs of veterans, including regulatory and legislative reform efforts, media advocacy, and strategic planning. The clinic is housed at the WVU College of Law.
About the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program is a non-profit organization that trains attorneys to provide free legal representation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. It was founded in 1992 by the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the National Veterans Legal Services Program, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.-WVU-