Required Clinic Component: Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic (3-5 spring clinical credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in the clinic will automatically enroll you in this required course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: No.
Add/Drop Deadline: August 13, 2021.
LLM Students: LLM students may apply to the clinic through the LLM General Clinic Application.
This Clinical Seminar is the companion course for students enrolled in the Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center.
The seminar complements the Clinic’s work of advocating for the rights of veterans and other low-income individuals with disabilities and ensuring that they have the independence, health care, income support, and other benefits that they need and deserve. The seminar trains students in essential lawyering skills, including interviewing, building client relationships, fact development, oral argument, and legal ethics, as well as introduces the complex array of legal issues that affect veterans, which involve elements of administrative law, constitutional law, probate law, mental health law, disability law, and civil rights. The seminar also provides a space for students to think strategically about their clients’ cases and to consider larger policy frameworks that affect veterans and persons with disabilities.
In the companion clinical course, students provide direct representation to low-income veterans and persons with disabilities, selecting among three projects within the Clinic: (1) the Veterans Justice Project, representing veterans in federal and state administrative and court appeals to challenge wrongful denials of veterans benefits and in military discharge upgrade petitions; (2) the Estate Planning Project, representing veterans and their families in estate and financial planning matters such as wills, trusts, advanced directives, guardianships, and conservatorships; or (3) the Safety Net Project, representing veterans and non-veterans with disabilities in administrative and court appeals to challenge wrongful denials of Social Security disability benefits and other safety-net programs.
The Clinic focuses on serving individuals who are marginalized and underrepresented, including individuals with mental health conditions, Military Sexual Trauma survivors, veterans of color, LGBTQ+ veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals. For more information about the Clinic’s docket and student learning opportunities, please visit: https://www.legalservicescenter.org/students-clinics/veterans-legal-clinic/.
There is no final examination or final paper for this course. Concurrent enrollment in the Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic is required. Please refer to the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs website for clinical registration dates, early add/drop deadlines, and other relevant information.