Clinic - Veteran's Rights

Clinic - Veterans' Rights Students will spend clinic hours at the Veteran Advocacy Project, where they will represent former servicemembers who have been denied access to health care and benefits due to acts of misconduct that were actually symptoms of mental health conditions. These clients have experienced trauma and live with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and substance use disorders; therefore, students are required to learn about these conditions and a trauma-informed approach to legal services. Students may represent veterans in military discharge upgrade applications to a Department of Defense review board or in a character of discharge (COD) appeal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The cases involve evidence-gathering, client interviewing, affidavit-drafting, potential work with forensic experts, and, finally, writing a brief. In some cases, students may have an opportunity to assist in a hearing. Students may also create their own FOIA/research projects, resulting in a white paper. The first semester of the seminar focuses on the statutes and regulations that govern upgrades and CODs, while the second semester covers a wide array of policy matters. Students will learn about systemic issues and advocacy efforts aorund behavioral health care, sexual assault, LGBTQIA++ rights, racism and other forms of discrimination, health care privitization, due process and entitlements, and more. Seminar Credits: 2.00 Seminar: The clinic includes a 2-credit seminar (for a total of 5 credits per semester) in which students learn substantive law, review lawyering skills, and discuss ethical issues that arise in practice. The second semester of the seminar focuses on policy and provides a space for group case review.

Enrollment Notes:
Students must enroll for the full year.
Students will be graded pass/fail for placement credits and a letter grade for the seminar.