ABA urges law schools to create veterans legal clinics based on Virginia model

mark-warnerThe American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates adopted a policy Tuesday urging all law schools to create legal clinics to help veterans access the benefits they have earned.

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) has called for the adoption of these legal clinics nationwide for more than three years, following the success of the College of William and Mary’s Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic. Senator Warner was instrumental in getting the Puller Clinic to be the first law school clinic in the nation to be certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs(V-A) as a national “best practice” program, with an expedited process for submission of veterans disability claims.

“I have been working for several years to expand the concept of veterans’ law clinics,” Sen. Warner said. “Just last year, I finally got the V-A to adopt the Puller Clinic model as a national standard. Since then, we have expanded from one clinic to 15, and we are still growing. Gaining the ABA seal of approval will add new momentum to our efforts to allow additional legal clinics and law firms to get on board with this wonderful way to help veterans at zero cost to taxpayers.”

In 2013, Sen. Warner sent a letter to each of his Senate colleagues promoting the Puller Clinic model, and met with former V-A Secretary Eric Shinseki to advocate for the Puller Clinic program as a national model. In August of that year, Sen. Warner announced that the Puller Clinic had been certified as a national “best practice” program, with a V-A-approved, expedited process for submission of disability claims. The Puller Clinic was the first law school clinic in the nation to receive this designation.



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