Veterans Advocacy Clinic
Clinic Director: Professor Hillary Wandler
Prerequisite: Professional Responsibility
Areas of Emphases: administrative law setting involving VA claims for service-connected disability benefits, VA claims for increased disability rating, applications for discharge upgrade, and consultation with practitioners on various legal issues for veterans, including family law
- Develop an original claim for service-connected disability compensation
- Develop a claim for increased disability rating
- Research and write an appellate brief to the Board of Veterans Appeals
- Conduct a hearing before the VA Regional Office Decision Review Officer or Board of Veterans Appeals administrative law judge
- Prepare a veteran for a hearing before the VA Regional Office or Board of Veterans Appeals
Research, investigate, and write an application for discharge upgrade
- Write a letter advising a veteran on the chances of success in a disability claim
The Veterans Advocacy Clinic provides pro bono legal advocacy to veterans and their families in rural and urban communities across Montana. By partnering with Montana Legal Services Association, the clinic prioritizes claims that will provide veterans and their families with sustaining income. Through the clinic, students will also learn veterans disability law, the law of discharge upgrade, and the procedural issues arising in both settings. Thus, students will learn to provide excellent advocacy in complex administrative systems like the VA, which will prepare them to serve veterans in practice.
Students will be performing supervised legal work before the VA Regional Office, Board of Veterans Appeals, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and Department of Defense boards addressing military discharge upgrade.