A Georgia university’s law school is creating a legal clinic focused on military veterans.
Officials at the University of Georgia School of Law say the clinic is funded by a donation from alumnus James Butler.
“We’re providing a service for individual veterans that will help them get the benefits to which we believe they’re entitled, and to get those benefits on a more timely basis,” said Alex Scherr, associate dean of clinical programs and experiential learning at UGA School of Law.
According to a school statement, Butler wanted to honor his father, who was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy.
The statement says the clinic will put a special emphasis on veterans’ claims that have been denied or deferred by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It’s been well demonstrated that veterans who’s claims are denied who do not have lawyers are less likely, essentially, to get their claims and will wait longer to get their claims approved, than those who do have access to lawyers,” Scherr said.
Law students will staff the clinic, overseen by a professional director, which will give them “the opportunity to practice with real clients and on real problems with close supervision and skilled teaching, while they’re still in law school,” Scherr said.
The clinic is scheduled to begin operating next summer and will be based on the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens.