America's Veterans Can't Afford Lawyers
It's a tragic reality that many of America's veterans return home only to find themselves homeless, unable to find their place in civilian society. However, if studies by the Department of Veterans Affairs are to be believed, many veterans' issues could be solved with the aid of a competent attorney.
We encourage all attorneys to offer reduced or even free assistance to veterans who are in need of help. If you are unable to help or cannot handle the complexity of the veteran's issue, we have provided a list of additional resources below.
A Proliferating Problem
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, approximately 50,000 veterans are homeless. Many of these servicemen and women need adequate medical care, food, housing, and drug rehabilitation services. At the same time, they also need a good lawyer.
The Department of Veterans Affairs believes that about half of the problems leading to homelessness cannot be solved without some form of legal help. When the DVA surveyed 6,000 homeless persons and the service providers that assisted them, it quickly became clear that vets were fine at finding food, medical services, and substance abuse treatment.
What vets were having trouble handling on their own were restoring their drivers licenses, upgrading their military status, and handling evictions. This makes sense: how many laymen can handle their own eviction defense -- especially given the typical accelerated deadlines?
Everyone knows lawyers are expensive. Many lawyers have steadily moved out of public interest towards more lucrative areas of law. However, the need is very real. A good many vets are unwilling to initially ask for help or charity (i.e., lowered fees). There is nothing wrong with taking reduced fees to help anyone -- especially a veteran.
Included here is a list of additional resources you can provide to veterans if you are unable to handle their matters:
- National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
- California Assistance for Homeless Veterans
- ABA Pro Bono Resources for Veterans
- Free Clinics in VA Facilities (VA.org)
- Sorry Toots, the Boys Can't Call Ya Honey Anymore (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Law Schools Now Offer Money for Early Decision Applicants (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- NACIQI: ABA Is out of Touch and Should Lose Accreditation Power (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)