Students from the John Marshall Law School and attorneys from the state of Illinois attended a Veterans Advocacy Training seminar in Chicago January 23, 2009. The day-long program provided attorneys with an overview of laws that apply to veterans' benefits and current legal issues facing service members and their families.
A live web cast from Balad, Iraq was featured during the day's training. Capt. Lindsey Kimber, Staff Judge Advocate, Task Force 34, Combat Aviation Brigade, offered a first-hand look at legal issues affecting Military members and their families before, during and after deployment. Kimber offered suggestions as to how members of the civilian bar can support Soldiers requiring legal assistance. "There is a great need for partnership between the civilian bar and the Army... and there are many avenues where it can step in to provide services," said Kimber.
Master Sgt. Steven R. Yach, U.S. Army Reserve Recruiting Assistance Program, and Sgt. 1st Class Terrance L. Brunson, Chicago Recruiting Battalion, also attended the seminar. According to Yach, the training gave recruiters knowledge to equip Future Soldiers with proper information to fully utilize Military benefits provided to service members and their families.
The seminar is one in a series of clinics organized by the John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC). Three John Marshall Law students started the VLSC three years ago, which now consists of 165 volunteer attorneys throughout Illinois.
"Attorneys become involved not as a position on the war, not as a political statement; people come to this project because they want to assist service members," said Brian Clauss, Executive Director, The John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic. "We bring a passion to this project that is shared by everyone involved."
Since last January the VLSC has taken on over 400 veterans cases throughout Illinois.