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 three areas:
- Veterans Benefits Appeals: The clinic litigates benefits appeals after a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) has been filed by a local Veterans Affairs Officer. The clinic only accepts benefits appeals referred to it by local and regional Veterans Service Officers.
- Veterans Rights Cases: The clinic handles impact litigation cases centered around the rights of veterans and servicemembers. Through impact litigation the clinic helps to build a broad precedent in favor of veterans and servicemembers beyond the individual. Such cases include those involving the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
- 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.