Issuu on Google+


Lawyers in Virginia Help Veterans Navigate Legal Process By Rebecca E. Neely Via a Virginia Bar Association effort, volunteer lawyers in Virginia are lending their assistance to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans experiencing problems with benefits, disabilities, discharges, and other legal issues.

Due to injuries or other issues that leave them unable to work, veterans often have difficulty with what is unfortunately, a complicated system, in obtaining their benefits.

saying: “We’ve seen the (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) say ‘no’ for completely wrong reasons. We can help soldiers overcome road blocks like that.”

Erin L Barrett, a lawyer with Hunton & Williams law firm in Richmond, and director of the firm’s Veterans Pro Bono Program was quoted as saying in the December 28th article, “Virginia lawyers help Iraq, Afghanistan veterans get benefits, handle other legal issues”: “The need for these services among Iraq- and Afghanistanera veterans is astonishing, and increased benefits have a significant impact on the veteran and his or her family, and enable them to live a life out of poverty.”

In addition, the Virginia Bar Association has instituted fundraising efforts for Helping Military Veterans through Higher Education, which is a joint effort for higher education institutions assisting Virginia veterans via a combination of education, outreach, evaluation, treatment and the benefits claims process.

Hunton & Williams takes part in the National Veterans Legal Services Program’s Lawyers Serving Warriors initiative. This program offers free legal assistance to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans all over the country. Recently the firm received the Pro Bono Partner of the Year Award via the program. McGuireWoods, also based in Richmond, is also working to offer legal assistance to veterans via education and outreach in coordination with a program run by the College of William & Mary’s law school.

McGuireWoods LLP employs over 900 attorneys in 19 offices in the United States and Europe. The firm’s largest offices are in Richmond; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Chicago. McGuireWoods has recently experienced immense growth by launching new offices in London in 2009 and offices in Houston and Austin, TX in 2011. In addition, the firm intends to continue its expansion with offices in Washington, D.C., London, Charlotte, and Brussels. Founded in 1901, Hunton & Williams LLP is a US law firm employing over 800 lawyers. It has been called “one of the most well-connected legal and lobbying firms in DC.” The firm was founded in Richmond, Virginia and has 18 other offices around the globe.

Matthew A. Kapinos, an associate with McGuireWoods and co-chairman of the bar association’s task force was quoted as


Lawyers in Virginia Help Veterans Navigate Legal Process