Photo of Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt

  • Hosted by Homeless Persons Representation Project
  • Sponsored by Covington & Burling LLP, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Service location Baltimore, Maryland
  • Law school University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Christian will eliminate legal barriers to stability and promote integration for justice-involved veterans through direct civil legal representation, outreach, education, and advocacy.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project

Veterans comprise 9% of inmates, and their arrests are often traceable to mental health concerns related to combat stress exposure. Seventy percent of incarcerated veterans are nonviolent offenders, 82% are eligible for VA services, and 18% were homeless at the time of the offense that led to their incarceration. This project will reduce incarceration and recidivism among justice-involved veterans by providing civil legal representation in their claims for VA benefits, discharge upgrades and criminal record expungement to expand veterans’ access to health care, mental health services, addiction treatment, housing and employment.

The Right Person For This Project

Christian is the right person for the project because:

  • He is a combat veteran who served in Iraq from 2004-2005.
  • He began his legal career as a volunteer supporting civil legal clinics for Veterans in Baltimore City operated by the Homeless Persons Representation Project, the host organization for this project.
  • As a law student, he served as a mentor in the Baltimore City Veterans Treatment Docket and mentored the first graduate of the program.
  • He represented veterans in the VA appeals process as a clinical law student.

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Christian will:

  • Receive specialized training in VA benefits, expungement and discharge upgrades.
  • Conduct outreach to justice-involved veterans.
  • Establish one free legal clinic at an existing Veterans Treatment Court.
  • Develop informational material about this project for distribution.

Meet Other Fellows Like Christian

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Eleyse D’andrea

Host: William & Mary Law School’s Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic

Sponsor: Hogan Lovells LLP, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Cherilyn Hansen

Host: Bay Area Legal Services

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, The Florida Bar Foundation

Justine Pelham

Host: Veteran Advocacy Project, Urban Justice Center

Sponsor: 21st Century Fox

John Paul Cimino

Host: William & Mary Law School, Helping Military Veterans Through Higher Education

Sponsor: Covington & Burling LLP, Northrop Grumman Corporation