Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership Helps Those With Less-Than-Honorable Discharge Status

Over the past few years in the spring and early summer, the BBA hosts a pro bono training to teach attorneys to navigate the complex process of representing a veteran in a case related to the status of his or her discharge from the military.

Hundreds of thousands of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan or during prior eras have been wrongfully separated from the military with less-than-honorable discharges, often preventing them from accessing much needed benefits. To correct these injustices and address the enormous need for legal representation in the discharge upgrade process, in 2015, the BBA Active Duty Military and Veterans Subcommittee supported the creation of the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership.

Through that program, the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School has presented three legal education programs in partnership with the BBA, trained more than 100 attorneys and matched them with veterans in need, and provided ongoing case guidance. We caught up with Veterans Legal Clinic’s Dana Montalto, who directs the Partnership, to see how participation in the clinic is going since the BBA began holding trainings.

“Thanks to the growing number of private attorneys who have chosen to dedicate their time to representing those who served our nation in uniform, many more veterans now have the opportunity to have their honor restored and their service recognized,” she said.

If you would like to access videos or materials from the trainings or if you’re interested in connecting with the Partnership, please contact Cassandra Shavney at [email protected].