Photo of Allison Higley

Allison Higley

  • Hosted by Veterans Legal Institute
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps
  • Service location Santa Ana, California
  • Law school Whittier Law School
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Veterans Legal Corps

The Project

There are nearly 22 million veterans in the United States, with approximately 2 million veterans living within the state of California. Nationwide projections indicate that 1 in 4 of the homeless population is a veteran due to issues with finding employment, physical disability, and mental health. Veterans Legal Institute (VLI) provides pro bono legal assistance  to low income and homeless veterans to help them access justice and achieve higher incomes, improve healthcare, secure housing, and improve family stability.

Allison will provide assistance with eviction defense, and connect veterans to housing resources and SSFV funds to prevent veteran homelessness. She will assist veterans with service connected disability claims to improve their access to healthcare and receipt of compensation for their disabilities, as well as complete and submit discharge upgrade petitions for veterans that are currently ineligible to receive benefits because of their discharge. Allison will prepare expungements and represent veterans at hearings to clear their criminal records and remove barriers to employment.

The Inspiration

Allison attended University of California at San Diego where she majored in Political Science and International Relations, and minored in Middle Eastern Studies and Law, with the intention of going into the Air Force as an officer. While working on her undergraduate degree, she decided to go to law school and to pursue a career as a Judge Advocate Officer in the Air Force. After witnessing the issues faced by her family members, friends, and the veterans served by the organizations she volunteered with, she was drawn to learning more about the social and legal issues that affect our active and retired service members, and wanted to become someone that could affect positive change in the veteran community.

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