New VetLex web-based platform supports legal services for veterans

The American Bar Association and the law firm Jones Day recently announced a partnership in VetLex, a web-based platform that matches attorneys who can provide pro bono legal services with veterans.

The platform. available at VetLex.org, is open for attorneys, law firms and legal organizations to register. By Veterans Day, the platform will be available to accept veterans’ cases and rolled out in key cities and states for pilot operation and testing. The national platform will be operational in 2018.

• For veterans, the VetLex platform provides an online tool for obtaining pro bono counsel for legal needs, including civil, criminal or administrative (benefit claims, for example) matters. It also provides educational information on basic legal concepts, as well as a convenient repository for paperwork (like DD 214s) that are required by various service providers.

• For veteran-serving organizations, VetLex will provide a means by which an expanded number of lawyers can be called upon to assist the veterans these organizations serve.

• For lawyers wishing to represent veterans, Lawyers can sign onto VetLex and create a profile that limits the kinds of cases they are willing to take on. For example, many in-house corporate attorneys have difficulty finding pro bono opportunities because they live and work in a place where they are not members of the local bar. Those attorneys can be trained through VetLex to become accredited with the Department of Veterans Affairs and take on veterans benefit cases. Or an associate at a large firm looking for pro bono opportunities can register with VetLex and take on a family law case, for example.

• For all, VetLex offers information about social service providers who can address issues (e.g., employment, housing, medical, etc.) that often occur in tandem with legal issues. While VetLex may not conduct direct referrals to these “wrap-around” services, it provides a convenient and accessible way for veterans and their counsel to see what other services may exist in their community that would benefit the veteran.

UniteUS, whose software focuses on improving access, collaboration and coordination among entities and who has created other platforms for veterans, is building the platform. To learn more, visit VetLex.org.
 

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