Georgia Impact Society & Culture

Veterans Legal Clinic creates outreach program

Alex Scherr (right), director of the Veterans Legal Clinic, interacts with a staff member. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA taken in 2018)

School of Law clinic extends work for veterans across Georgia

The University of Georgia School of Law’s Veterans Legal Clinic, in partnership with the Georgia Legal Services Program, has received funding from the American Bar Association to extend its work for veterans throughout the state of Georgia.

Titled the Georgia Veterans Outreach Program, this partnership will deliver virtual legal clinics to veterans in underserved parts of the state. There will be six clinic events that will connect veterans with volunteer lawyers for brief service and referrals using video conferencing software. Veterans without phone or reliable internet can participate using program computers at venues near where they live that will be set up by GVOP. The virtual clinics will be hosted in parts of Georgia that lack veteran-specific legal assistance and will prioritize veterans in rural areas who often lack access to lawyers and legal advice.

The GVOP will allow both the Veterans Legal Clinic and the Georgia Legal Services Program to fully realize a remote clinic system, which will improve outreach efforts to veterans statewide. The events will eliminate barriers faced with purely in-person clinics, including the health and safety concerns brought to light by the coronavirus pandemic.

The law school is grateful to a group of Columbus-based supporters who have focused their efforts on ensuring that our nation’s military men and women receive the assistance they need. This group includes renowned trial attorney and alumnus James E. “Jim” Butler Jr., who has been a steadfast supporter of those who have served in the U.S. military. Butler made a lead gift to establish the law school’s Veterans Legal Clinic, which assists Georgia veterans with claims before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He also established the Butler Commitment, which guarantees financial aid to 100 percent of student veteran law school matriculants.