Southern IL Legal Clinic Engages Community to Aid Veterans
On November 6th, IL-AFLAN members SIU School of Law Veteran Legal Clinic, Public Interest Law Initiative and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation hosted a free civil legal clinic for veterans in southern Illinois with support from the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Local veteran services organizations, the Marion VA, Veterans Administration and other veteran focused organizations were also on hand to assist with initial benefits claims, healthcare and other social service needs. The event was a great success with more than 30 local veterans getting their legal problems resolved, most that same afternoon.
Several days prior to the event, SIU and Land of Lincoln hosted a joint CLE on military cultural competency for 15 area attorneys, who then signed-on to volunteer. CARPLS staff on the IL-AFLAN hotline assisted with pre-screening clients who called in advance, while on-site volunteers assisted walk-in clients.
Ultimately, these events demonstrated how a community can mobilize to help veterans in a holistic way.
Pictured above: State Senator Paul Schimpf speaks to volunteers at the SIU veterans legal clinic event