AT THE LEADING EDGE OF RESEARCH AND SERVICE
FOREFRONT VET TO VET: Adrian Kinsella ’15 (right) of Boalt’s Veterans’ Law Practicum provides assistance at San Francisco’s VA Medical Center.
Boalt Students Step Up for Veterans
New programs help vets navigate a range of legal issues
eterans may leave the battlefield behind, but the wounds of war remain. Nationwide, more than 62,000 military veterans are homeless on any given night, and many grapple with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. Another 140,000 are in prison. Hundreds of thousands more suffer from a chronic benefits backlog. In the face of those daunting figures, Boalt students have launched a free legal clinic at San Francisco’s Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center and a new program for veteran inmates seeking parole at San Quentin State
Prison. Both programs are first-of-their-kind in California, home to more vets than any other state. A new Student-Initiated Legal Services Project also seeks to boost student involvement in pro bono work for veterans’ causes. As part of a nationwide effort to connect vets in need of legal assistance with law schools, law firms, and bar associations, the VA reached out to Boalt’s Veterans’ Law Practicum to establish the clinic. Since launching in 2009, the practicum—which helps vets and their families pursue health-care and disability claims and appeals—has seen student enrollment more than double and its active caseload triple. s p r i n g 2014 | T r a n s c r i p t |