The law school at the University of Georgia is starting a new program which aims to help veterans with legal issues.
UGA opened a veteran's law clinic where vets can get free legal help when working to get VA and social security benefits. The clinic opened close to 4 weeks ago but it's already helping just under a dozen veterans.
The clinic which is located on the 5th floor of the Bank of America building in downtown Athens has been years in the making.
"The idea for the program has been around the law school for about six years. We were prompted by the Military Legal Assistance Program of the Georgia Bar," said Alex Scherr.
Alex Scherr is a UGA Law professor. He says the clinic works with vets who are primarily struggling to get VA and social security benefits. Many vets often don't know where to turn when navigating the complicated federal systems.
"Probably the biggest issue veterans face from the VA is delay. From the time they file a claim to the time they get a decision," said Scherr.
Scherr and his team of law students can help vets submit all the necessary documents and follow up with the VA. The experience is invaluable for the students working at the clinic. One of those students is a veteran himself.
"I was in the army for eight years and when I got out I always wanted to find a way to involve myself in that community and I always thought this was a great way to do that," Chase Keith, a veteran and UGA law student said..
Several colleges and universities have veteran law clinics but Scherr says UGA's clinic will focus on serving people in rural and low income counties nearby.
"We expect to do a lot of work and outreach to veterans who might be isolated in the countryside and may not have access to services," said Scherr.
For more information about UGA's law clinic, click here.
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