McGuireWoods’ innovative initiatives to support military veterans earned the firm a rating of “Highly Commended” in the Veterans Program of the Year category at the Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America 2020.
The annual awards honor firms and individuals for furthering the advancement of diversity and inclusion across the United States and Canada. Winners were announced Sept. 24 in a virtual awards ceremony.
The centerpiece of McGuireWoods’ veterans initiatives is its Veteran Lawyers Network (VLN), which supports military veterans inside the firm and leverages the experience of the firm’s lawyers to provide legal assistance to service members nationwide.
The VLN achieved a major milestone in 2019, playing a crucial role in securing passage of the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act. The law helps U.S. military veterans shield disability and other Veterans Administration benefits in bankruptcy proceedings. The VLN, led by Washington, D.C., partner John Thompson, worked closely with the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Veterans Task Force and McGuireWoods Consulting’s federal government relations team to help shape the bipartisan legislation and assist in its passage and enactment.
The firm also collaborated with the National Veterans Legal Services Program to handle 46 pro bono matters for veterans in 2019 and hold several pro bono clinics to assist service members with benefits claims and other legal needs.
“McGuireWoods is committed to supporting military veterans in our firm and in our communities and we are proud to receive this recognition,” said Thompson, who served as a captain and helicopter pilot in the United States Army. “It is a privilege to put our abilities to work for men and women who serve our country in uniform.”