Students at the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic help veterans and their families in Henry and St. Clair County
On April 22, the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic in partnership with the University of Missouri Extension will provide free on-line (Zoom) consultations in St. Clair and Henry County from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Under the Tigers for Troops program, veterans in these two counties will have the opportunity to register for assistance with disability compensation claims and discharge upgrades. The registration line will open in the near future and a limited number of appointment time slots will be scheduled on a first come-first served basis.
Tigers for Troops began in February 2019 with an emphasis on outreach to rural communities that did not have nearby veterans’ services. The program originally involved law students and supervising attorneys traveling to MU Extension centers for in-person consultations. However, this time- and resource-intensive approach limited the program’s reach, so Tigers for Troops took a cue from the MU School of Medicine’s Missouri Telehealth Network.
Under this program, the Veterans Clinic is partnering with the University of Missouri Extension to have students and supervising attorneys educate veterans about available resources, as well as to assist them with disability claims and appeals and discharge upgrades. Clinic personnel will also train attorneys on veterans’ law to increase the number of attorneys qualified to help veterans in Missouri’s rural areas.
Mizzou Law students work at the Regional Office and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals levels, as well as before the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims. Students are supervised by an experienced attorney at each step and have the opportunity to work in a law firm atmosphere within the law school serving real client needs.
The Veterans Clinic is designed to teach a host of practical skills, including law firm and time management, client interviewing and counseling, problem-solving, legal theory development, data collection, witness statements, medical records analysis and appellate brief writing. Importantly, the clinic highlights the importance of pro bono work in a lawyer’s professional life while serving the needs of our veterans on behalf of a grateful nation.
Follow-up information will be available at firstname.lastname@example.org. Although the registration link is not open right now, interested veterans should check regularly and schedule a slot immediately when registration begins.