Legal advice & assistance for military veterans
Scroll down for more information about:
American Bar Association
The mission of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel is to:
1. Foster the continued growth of the military legal assistance programs;
2. Promote the delivery of legal services to military personnel and their family members and to persons accompanying the armed forces outside the United States, on their personal legal affairs; and
3. Maintain close liaison with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland
Security (with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard), the military services, bar associations and appropriate committees of the Association to enhance the scope, quality and delivery of free or affordable legal services to eligible legal assistance clients.
GI Rights Hotline
Network of over 20 organizations providing service members and veterans non-directive counseling on discharges, military regulations, discrimination, sexual assault and harassment complaint procedures, filing grievances, political activity and similar issues.
Inner City Law Center (Los Angeles, CA)
More veterans experience homelessness in Los Angeles than anywhere else in the nation. Inner City Law Center’s Homeless Veterans Project was one of just a few programs in the country to offer free legal services to homeless veterans when it launched in 1998. Our attorneys work to obtain benefits for homeless veterans who have disabilities as a result of their military service. We represent our clients throughout the entire benefits process, which can often last for years.
Inner City Law Center has developed special expertise in assisting female Veterans who are experiencing homelessness, including survivors of military sexual trauma. Our attorneys have represented veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korea, and even World War II. The impact of systemic racism is evident within the ranks of Veterans who experience homelessness – 43.2% percent are people of color, compared with 18.4% of the general Veteran population.
Iowa Legal Aid
Free legal help with civil law problems for eligible low-income Iowans. Call 1-800-532-1275.
Justice for Vets
The national clearinghouse for veterans treatment courts.
Justice For Vets is the nation’s only veterans organization exclusively committed to ensuring that veterans involved in the criminal justice system have access to Veterans Treatment Courts and the benefits, services and treatment they have earned.
Lawyers For Heroes
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation has partnered with the Military Officers Association of America, the Public Counsel Law Center and the American Bar Association to establish the LawyersForHeroes collaboration to provide a package of legal resources for military caregivers from multiple generations.
The MOAA Caregiver Guide, which earned the prestigious Power of A Summit Award in 2015 from the American Society of Association Executives, is a compilation of best practices to assist caregivers with the legal and financial aspects of caregiving. In addition, the American Bar Association and the Public Counsel Law Center are cooperating to provide caregivers a next-step legal resource to address complex caregiving situations requiring the assistance of legal counsel. In many cases, these services are provided free of charge to qualified military people, veterans and their caregivers.
Lawyers Serving Warriors, National Veterans Legal Services Program
Lawyers Serving Warriors’ current pro bono initiatives are to assist veterans with applications to the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) and for Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC).
NVLSP strives to ensure that our nation honors its commitment to our 25 million veterans and active duty personnel by providing them the federal benefits they have earned through their service to our country.
As the voice of veterans' rights for the last 32 years, the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) works to ensure that the U.S. government keeps its pact with our nation's 25 million veterans. NVLSP is an independent nonprofit veterans service organization that has assisted veterans and their advocates since 1980.
As a conduit for change against unfair government practices, NVLSP has been instrumental in the passage of landmark veterans' rights legislation. Lawsuits brought by NVLSP attorneys have forced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits to veterans and their families and have forced the military departments to pay millions of dollars in back pay to veterans.
NVLSP recruits, trains, and assists thousands of volunteer lawyers and veterans' advocates. Our publications empower veterans, their families, and their advocates to obtain the benefits they're entitled to by clearly outlining their rights under the law.
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
The Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago provides free legal assistance to veterans, service members, and their families in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.
LAF's new Veteran’s Project represents veterans and their dependents in pursuing disability and pension claims, dealing with consumer issues, upgrading discharges, and obtaining or keeping employment or housing.
Because the Project is new, people with questions about the scope of its services are urged to call LAF’s main downtown number for further information.
Legal Connection: Military Matters (Kansas City, MO)
Legal Connection: Military Matters is a program of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation. Legal Connection: Military Matters provides free and low cost legal assistance for veterans and active duty military in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.
Military Matters provides legal assistance in the following areas:
- Family Law (child custody/support, divorce, Orders of Protection, Guardianship)
- Landlord/tenant issues and eviction
- Debt counseling, estate planning, tax counseling, real estate
- Business start-up services
National Organization of Veterans Advocates
Provides legal assistance for veterans regarding their VA claims.
National Veterans Legal Services Program
Provides legal assistance to all branches of the Armed Forces.
Oklahoma Lawyers for American Heroes
The Oklahoma Lawyers for America’s Heroes program was launched on Veterans Day 2010 to provide legal advice and assistance to those who have honorably served this country and are unable to afford to hire an attorney. Through this program, lawyers from across this great state stand at the ready to give legal advice and assistance to qualifying Oklahoma’s veterans, retirees, active duty enlisted servicemembers, guard members and reserve members.
Protect Our Defenders
We honor, support and give voice to the brave women and men in uniform who have been raped or sexually assaulted by fellow service members. We seek to fix the military training, investigation and adjudication systems related to sexual violence and harassment — systems that often re-victimize assault survivors by blaming them while failing to prosecute perpetrators.
Public Counsel -Center for Veterans' Advancement
213-385-2977 ex. 301
Public Counsel's Center for Veterans' Advancement (CVA), a national leader in veterans' advocacy, is driven by its core mission to uphold our nation's promise to veterans and their families. CVA provides legal representation to veterans and their families at both the local and national levels.
Service Women's Action Network
Veterans Legal Services and Peer Support Helpline1-888-729-2089
Hours: 10am-6pm EST
What to expect:
- Please leave a message with your name and phone number; a caseworker will respond between 10am and 6pm EST Monday through Friday. Messages left on weekends or federal bank holidays will be addressed the following business day. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.
- This call will include a brief set of questions about your background, current situation and needs. Your information will be kept confidential.
- Work with the caseworker to identify your concerns and priorities, while deciding on healthy next steps.
- Most importantly, the call is at your own pace, within your comfort level. Your safety and well-being are our primary concerns.
Who will I be speaking with? Caseworkers are your peers who have experienced military cultural firsthand – from a woman’s perspective. Knowledgeable in connecting you to a variety of helpful resources and supportive services, they are trained to work with you to identify your needs and healthy next steps.
Benefits of the helpline:
- No one should have to struggle alone – use the helpline as a source of support.
- Get connected to free legal, mental health, or other supportive services.
- Join a growing community of servicewomen and women veterans who share your experience.
- Get more information about how SWAN is addressing the challenges facing servicewomen and women veterans – and how you can be an active part of these initiatives.
We have created this website to give legal help and/or advice for military members, veterans and their families. Our goal is to help you:
- find your own solutions to common legal problems, and
- find someone to help you, if you need legal advice
Having trouble finding what you're looking for? Check our User Guide for tips.
Swords to Plowshares
War causes wounds and suffering that last beyond the battlefield. Swords to Plowshares’ mission is to heal the wounds, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to significantly reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans.
Founded in 1974, Swords to Plowshares is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that provides counseling and case management, employment and training, housing, and legal assistance to more than 1500 homeless and low-income veterans annually in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. We promote and protect the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships with local, state, and national entities.
- Swords to Plowshares is the only veterans service agency in the United States that provides a full continuum of care. We help vets, as well as families of vets, in the following areas:
- Health & Social Services - Swords to Plowshares’ drop-in center provides emergency shelter, mental health services and referrals to homeless veterans.
- Housing - Swords to Plowshares’ residential programs provide housing, rehabilitation and counseling to veterans in need.
- Employment & Training - Through direct training and job referrals, Swords to Plowshares helps veterans re-enter the workforce.
- Veterans Academy - At Swords to Plowshares’ Veterans Academy, formerly homeless veterans can live in a supportive community.
- Legal - Swords to Plowshares’ legal department provides free attorney representation and advocacy to veterans seeking benefits.
The John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support
The Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC) specializes in appealing denied veteran’s benefits claims, including service-connected benefits, pension benefits, survivor benefits, and education benefits. The VLSC will not begin work on an initial claim that has not been filed or is currently pending before the Department of Veterans Affairs. To receive assistance in filing an initial claim for benefits please contact a Veterans’ Service Organization.
In order to maintain its neutral role with such programs, the VLSC does not represent veterans in criminal matters before the court.
The VLSC will begin a case file when a veteran calls with a denied benefit's claim. During the initial contact, a trained clerical intern will conduct an in-depth intake to obtain all pertinent informaton on the denied claim. Before the VLSC can proceed, it must receive and review all correspondence with the VA regarding the benefits claim, most importantly the Rating Decision issued by the VA. Once the VLSC receives the pertinent documents, your case will be put in a queued waiting list. (The VLSC operates on a first-come, first-served basis.) When your name reaches the top of the waiting list, your case will be assigned to a clinical student. Under the supervision of a staff attorney, the clinical student will work on developing your case. The goal of the VLSC case-management process is to locate a pro bono attorney to take representation of your case.
University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic
Students at the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic will help veterans and their families secure disability benefits.
U.S. Air Force Legal Assistance
Welcome to the Air Force Legal Assistance Website! This website is intended for active duty, reserve component, and retired military members, their family members, and others eligible for legal assistance through the military.
U.S. Armed Forces Legal Assistance
Complete a form to locate active duty legal activities offering general legal services within the continental United States.
U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps
The Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps provides solutions, from a military perspective, to legal issues involving military operations, organization, and personnel, wherever and whenever such solutions are required, with primary focus on operations, accountability, Sailor legal readiness, and Navy legal readiness.
Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Project
202-628-8164 or 1-888-838-7727
Cooperative program of four national veterans service organizations (American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, National Veterans Legal Services Program, and Paralyzed Veterans of America) providing free attorneys to veterans and their qualifying family members who have an appeal pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Veterans Defense Project
The Veterans Defense Project (VDP) is non-profit human service organization, dedicated to providing practical, no-nonsense attention to the needs of veterans facing legal situations.
The mission of the Veterans Defense Project is:
- To publish and market The Attorney’s Guide to Defending Veterans in Criminal Court, the comprehensive manual to the art and science of defending criminally-involved veterans with PTSD, TBI, substance abuse or other service-related disorders; and any such reprints or updates.
- To conduct and support education, research, and informational activities to increase public awareness of issues effecting military veterans in the criminal justice system;
- To promote the effective legal representation of military veterans charged with criminal offenses; and
- To promote the rehabilitation of criminally-involved veterans.
Veterans Legal Clinic (San Diego, CA)
The Veterans Legal Clinic is dedicated to protecting and serving veterans who have made great sacrifices to protect and serve the United States.
We represent veterans who find themselves in a dispute with a for-profit education company over the use of GI Bill funds or related education loans. The Veterans Legal Clinic can help by providing free legal advice, identifying potential claims and even representing veterans in litigation, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution with for-profit education companies.
We also offer free assistance navigating VA disability claims appeals and represent veterans applying for a correct characterization of their military service discharge in order to receive the benefits, respect and honor they deserve.
We advocate for men and women affected by Military Sexual Trauma. We have trained most of the independent military sexual trauma veterans advocates in the U.S.
- Helping veterans win VA claims.
- Obtain help for active duty with military sexual trauma.
- Finding veterans to connect with each other.
- Educate all who have served.
- Pay it forward to three other veterans.
Disclosure: Benita Koeman of Operation We Are Here is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When you purchase a product that is linked to Amazon, I earn a small commission which in turn helps me to continue with my mission of providing resources to the military community and military supporters. Learn more...