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New agreement between ABA, VA to help Penn State Law serve veterans

“This memorandum will strengthen the partnership between our organizations and help us better serve the men and women who have given so much for our country,” said Penn State Law Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic Director Michele Vollmer, who now leads new membership efforts for the consortium of veterans legal clinics. “We are honored and excited to be a part of this effort.”

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium, of which Penn State Law is a member, has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Bar Association, and The Veterans Consortium that will help improve veterans’ access to free legal services.

“This memorandum will strengthen the partnership between our organizations and help us better serve the men and women who have given so much for our country,” said Penn State Law Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic Director Michele Vollmer, who now leads new membership efforts for the consortium of veterans legal clinics. “We are honored and excited to be a part of this effort.”

VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin said the VA is encouraging its medical centers and other facilities to engage with their local communities, establish legal clinics and medical legal partnerships, and address the range of legal issues that veterans often face—including eviction, foreclosure, child support, and drivers’ license revocations.

“By signing this agreement, we are documenting a shared commitment to better facilitate veterans’ access to legal services,” Shulkin said.

Currently, the VA hosts at least 165 free legal clinics in its medical centers, community-based outpatient clinics, and vet centers across the country by partnering with external, legal-service providers, such as local bar associations, legal-aid organizations, and law school clinics.

The Penn State Law Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic works on a variety veterans benefit appeals, veterans rights cases, and helps develop and shape state and federal policy to improve the lives of veterans. The clinic has won recent victories on behalf of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange and also received a $10,000 grant to help pay for medical professional opinions needed to support veterans’ disability claims. 

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