Before Veterans Day Weekend, Norton to Introduce Veterans Legal Support Act
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced today she will introduce the Veterans Legal Support Act of 2019, which would allow the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide financial support to law school clinical programs that provide pro bono legal services to veterans, including assistance with disability claims and foreclosures. There are at least 22 law schools that have clinics devoted to veterans’ legal needs, including the William & Mary Law School Veterans Benefits Clinic, which serves as a national model for this idea and was the first recipient of a “best practice” certification from the VA. There are many other law schools, such as the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law, that are interested in starting their own VA-certified clinics.
In her introductory statement, Norton writes: “More than 400,000 veterans are waiting for their disability claims to be processed by the VA. With the assistance of lawyers and law professors, clinical programs provide free legal resources to assist veterans in processing their claims. My bill would merely build on what some law schools have begun to do for the last several years. More needs to be done to sustain and increase these programs.”