Photo of Kara O'Brien

Kara O’Brien

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

The Project

Kara assists veterans with civil legal issues including housing, discharge upgrades, obtaining VA and other public benefits. The project facilitates housing stability and prevents homelessness. Access to benefits and discharge upgrades promotes economic stability and ensures veterans are properly recognized and compensated for their service.

During her project, Kara will:

  • Assist clients on a variety of veteran law matters, including discharge upgrades, certain VA benefit claims, landlord-tenant issues, SCRA issues and more
  • Attend Orange County legal clinics to assist homeless and low-income veterans by conducting legal intakes and providing general information
  • Work on staffing mobile legal clinics throughout Orange County, will oversee case referrals to pro bono attorneys and provide support to those volunteers, and will facilitate and expand law student involvement with the host organization including outreach and training at local law schools
  • Conduct community education presentations to clients and service providers and will represent PLC at legal networking and community outreach events

The Inspiration

“I have dedicated my entire life to public service. I was a Girl Scout for thirteen years and in my final year, I received the Gold Award for community service work I did with the homeless community. I worked for the American Cancer Society and served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso. During college and law school I continued to serve the community by volunteering with the Bay Area Urban Debate League, Teen Court, Skid Row Legal Clinic, OneJustice Bus project, the Immigration Law Clinic, and the Appellate Litigation Clinic. I bring my passion for serving historically underrepresented individuals to this position. Orange County has a housing crisis and many of the individuals displaced are veterans. My work assisting ‘Operation Re-Entry’ at the Public Law Center centers is a way for me to continue my service, to those who sacrificed so much for our country,” says Kara.

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Sheila Hughes

Host: Military Assistance Project

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Military Assistance Project

Tiffanie Graham

Host: Veterans Advocacy Project, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Sponsor: AmeriCorps

Benjamin Butler

Host: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

Ryan Ueda

Host: Public Law Center

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Public Law Center