The Penn State Law Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (VSLC) offers students hands-on experience representing veterans and current servicemembers in some of the unique legal issues they encounter. Under the supervision of a faculty member, clinic students help fill the critical gap between the demand for specialized veterans and servicemembers legal assistance and the limited supply of such services in Pennsylvania and across the nation.
The clinic focuses its work in two areas:
- Veterans Benefits Appeals: The clinic handles disability, pension, and education benefits appeals, usually after a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) has been filed by a local Veterans Affairs Officer.
- State and Federal Policy: The clinic seeks to influence and/or develop state and federal legislation that affects veterans or servicemembers, including, but not limited to: policies addressing military voting issues, creation of Veterans’ Courts, issues arising under the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act, and regulations to improve the lives of those sexually assaulted during military service.
Spring 2018 Projects
This spring Penn State Law’s Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic has a large team to work on many pending matters. The team is filing two claims and one appeal for Vietnam veterans with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and is writing a white paper to advocate that AML be added to the list of diseases presumptively connected to Agent Orange exposure. The clinic is also working on two other veteran disability appeals and is writing two amici briefs (one for the prosecution and one for the defense) on separate teams supervised by Professor Michele Vollmer and retired Vice Admiral James W. Houck. The briefs will be filed in a criminal appeal by an airman for a visit from the U.S. Air Force Criminal Court of Appeals. The court will conduct oral argument for that criminal appeal on April 6 at noon in Penn State Law’s courtroom in the Lewis Katz Building in University Park. Two students from the clinic will argue before the court, one for each side. Their arguments will follow after oral arguments are made by the prosecution and defense lawyers.