William & Mary Law School applauds the Senate Appropriations Committee's decision yesterday to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to partner with law school clinics that help our nation's veterans navigate the complex VA benefits process. Law school veterans benefits clinics, such as William & Mary's Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic, provide much-needed assistance to veterans as they struggle through the often confusing process. William & Mary Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas commented "Senator Mark Warner has made increasing the number of law school clinics modeled after the Puller Clinic a personal priority and his successful negotiation with the Appropriations Committee in order to include this important language is further evidence of his commitment to get veterans in Virginia and across the nation additional assistance in obtaining the benefits they earned during their dedicated service."
The Puller Clinic provides pro bono legal services to veterans with service-connected disabilities, as well as injured active duty service men and women going through the military's physical and medical evaluation process. The Puller Clinic takes the cases that are too complex for veteran service organizations to handle, the ones that are part of the significant VA backlog, and those for which an attorney would not get paid. The Puller Clinic was the first in the nation to combine legal and psychological assistance to veterans seeking help with complex disability compensation claims, through a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University's Center for Psychological Services and Development. This pro bono effort provides nearly one million dollars annually in services to veterans, enriches the education of law and psychology students, reduces the stress on the veterans during the complicated and lengthy claims process, and supports the work of the VA.
Law School Office of Communications Contact: Jaime Welch-Donahue, [[w|jpwelc]], (o) (757) 221-1840, (cell) (757) 345-8429
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.