Grant Supports Faculty-Supervised Veterans Legal Practicum at Pitt Law

The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Veterans Legal Practicum to support their efforts in providing pro bono legal assistance to veterans. Students, along with supervising attorneys, assist veterans in securing their entitled benefits and reversing less than fully honorable military discharges.

The Practicum’s current caseload consists of approximately 50 veterans or their family members, and is split roughly 50/50 between complex VA claims and discharge upgrades. Discharge upgrade cases may involve veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or other mental health disorders that contributed to misconduct after they returned from overseas assignments. The Practicum currently has more than ten cases pending before defense department boards, having already won three of the cases they filed at the administrative level, and obtained a court-ordered remand in a fourth.

​As nearly all of the Practicum’s clients are from western Pennsylvania, the program fills a specific gap in the local legal service network for veterans. They are the only pro bono provider of military discharge upgrade services in the region.

The $10,000 grant from the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program will be used to fund student travel to discharge review board hearings, to procure program supplies, to secure medical records, and to fund a student research assistant.

Pictured (L-R): David H. Myers, Esq., Director, Case Evaluation and Placement Component, The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, William M. Carter Jr., Dean and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Jason Manne, Adjunct Professor of Law and Director, University of Pittsburgh School of Law Veterans Legal Practicum