Danica Gonzalves

  • Hosted by The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
  • Sponsored by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, AT&T
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school The George Washington University Law School
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Danica provided legal help to veterans wrongly given Other Than Honorable discharges due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury to ensure that these veterans get the medical treatment and disability benefits they deserve.

Veterans, our nation’s defenders, deserve the benefits they were promised and the best legal services, at no charge, to meet their challenges and needs. Since 2001, more than 100,000 American service members have received Other Than Honorable discharges, and many were manifesting symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury. Other Than Honorable discharges deprive veterans of VA and state benefits, limit job prospects, and damage reputations and self-esteem. The Discharge Upgrade Program assists veterans in upgrading their discharges by uniting veterans with pro bono attorneys, enabling them to receive the benefits they need.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Danica has:

  • Assisted over 2000 veterans with their discharge upgrade applications
  • Provided full representation in more than 100 cases
  • Held 15 community pro bono clinics for veterans seeking assistance with their discharge upgrades
  • Developed a comprehensive discharge upgrade training program and provided training to hundreds of pro bono attorneys

What’s Next

Danica will continue to serve as Director of The Discharge Upgrade Program. She will grow the program and train more pro bono attorneys, law students, and veteran service officers in the discharge upgrade process. She will also host more discharge upgrade clinics across the country and provide veterans with much needed legal assistance.


Danica Gonzalves Talks About Protecting the Rights of Our Nation’s Defenders

Ensuring Veterans Get Their Benefits

Alumni Win Highest Discharge Upgrade For Veteran

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