Photo of Nathan Goncalves

Nathan Goncalves

  • Hosted by Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law
  • Sponsored by Equal Justice Works Text-to-Give
  • Service location Los Angeles, California
  • Law school University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Nathan aids low-income disabled veterans in their rehabilitation by addressing family law issues through direct assistance, counsel and advice, and legal education to promote family reunification.

Veterans face a wide range of issues when reintegrating with their respective communities. Much of the currently available support for veterans is focused on healthcare or obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs; however, very little attention is given to the importance of family reintegration and the impact it has on the success of veterans transitioning into the civilian population. Nathan plans to utilize his understanding of the veteran community to develop services and legal education that address issues that are more prevalent in the veteran community.

Fellowship Highlights

In the first six months, Nathan has:

  • Developed working relationship with Veteran Family Wellness Center to offer veterans and their families’ resiliency skills that are fundamental to family reunification.
  • Created legal educational presentation materials specifically designed for veterans with custody and visitation problems.
  • Joined and participated in the Veterans Law Quarterly Roundtable in order to network and develop partnerships with veteran service providers in Los Angeles.
  • Established new case acceptance policy and procedures specifically for the Veterans Family Law Project in order to reach as many veterans as possible.

Next Steps

In the next six months, Nathan plans to:

  • Conduct outreach events for veterans to provide information regarding custody and visitation.
  • Be the primary counsel to represent veterans in their family law court cases.
  • Continue to develop working relationships with Los Angeles area veteran service providers to expand the reach of the Veterans Family Law Project.
  • Continue to evaluate the family law needs of the local veteran community and develop legal education materials to address those needs.

Media

Born the Battle #163: Nathan Goncalves: Army Veteran, Equal Justice Works, UCLA Law School

L.A. has one of the largest veteran populations in the country and with most of the legal aid available focusing on VA Benefits, discharge upgrades, and healthcare issues, the importance of familial relationships and resolution is unfortunately overlooked. My work brings together the extensive network of veteran services in the L.A. area to address this unmet legal need.

Nathan Goncalves /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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