Virginia Bar Association to Unveil Veterans Legal Services Campaign in November

Program Offers Free and Reduced Legal Services to Returning Vets, and Support for William & Mary Veterans Benefits Clinic

November 4, 2010

Program Offers Free and Reduced Legal Services to Returning Vets, and Support for William & Mary Veterans Benefits Clinic

As Virginia Veterans return home from overseas service, many face numerous challenges, including some that require legal assistance. The Virginia Bar Association (VBA) will announce, as part of a newly created Veterans Legal Services Month this November, a statewide campaign offering free or reduced cost legal services from attorneys in Virginia in an effort to assist Veterans returning to the Commonwealth.

This initiative will be highlighted by a proclamation to be issued by Governor Bob McDonnell on November 4, 2010. On the same day, Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell and Paul E. Galanti, Commissioner of Veterans Services for Virginia, are tentatively scheduled to join members of the VBA, members of the legal community, and Virginia veterans for a celebratory kick-off event to unveil program details for a call-to-action to Virginia lawyers.

“For many veterans, returning home from combat or overseas deployment can be challenging, and in some instances, very difficult – especially when they are faced with legal challenges, such as domestic relations issues, problems with creditors or landlords, or finding their job is no longer open when they return,” said Stephen Busch, a partner at McGuireWoods and president of the VBA. “If every attorney would volunteer just a few hours of their time through the Virginia National Guard Project, it would have a tremendous impact to ease some of the burdens faced by our returning Vets.”

The VBA also has organized a Veterans Day fundraiser to raise funds and awareness for the Veterans Benefits Clinic at the William & Mary Law School, a clinical program that offers law students the opportunity to assist veterans by representing them during their discharge from active military service. Other volunteer opportunities for law students include assisting with filing and appealing claims for disability compensation with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“As a military daughter, wife and mother, I know first-hand the kinds of challenges that our veterans might face when they return home,” said Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell. “I am pleased to be a part of the Virginia Bar Association’s effort to encourage attorneys throughout Virginia to volunteer their services to those who have served our Commonwealth, and to support the Veterans Benefits Clinic with generous donations.”

The VBA is the oldest and largest voluntary organization of lawyers and judges in Virginia. It is the independent voice of the Virginia lawyer, advancing the highest ideals of the profession through advocacy and volunteer service. For more information, visit