Robert Alexander

  • Hosted by Swords to Plowshares
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location San Francisco, California
  • Law school Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Robert provides outreach and tailored legal services to vulnerable LGBTQ veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area through community legal clinics and newly established Medical Legal Partnerships.

LGBTQ Veterans are over-represented in all the risk categories associated with Veterans generally, such as homelessness, poverty, mental health issues, and suicide; yet, they are under-represented among Veterans receiving VA benefits and services. LGBTQ Veterans are not well understood because they do not readily self-identify and often eschew help due them because of the stigma and trauma many experienced during their military service and discharge process. Traditional spaces where Veterans congregate or receive services often seem hostile to LGBTQ Veterans.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past year, Bob has:

  • Provided full representation to 22 veterans before the Veterans Administration and boards of military correction, as well as limited assistance or legal referrals to an additional 26 veterans
  • Established a Medical Legal Partnership with San Francisco Vet Center, holding 25 legal clinics to date
  • Accelerated community outreach, with 4700 educational flyers distributed, over 200 person-to-person contacts made with community members during 2019 San Francisco Pride events, and a partnership established with San Francisco LGBT Center to co-sponsor upcoming events
  • Educated and trained 15 pro bono attorneys
  • Launched a LGBTQ veteran support group that offers weekly therapeutic group sessions

Next Steps

In the next year, Bob plans to:

  • Expand and streamline LGBTQ veteran outreach
  • Develop and refine LGBTQ veteran self-help guides, filing templates, model briefs, and other tools
  • Develop and present a LGBTQ veteran legal CLE program for online distribution and pursue additional opportunities to directly address and educate local service providers
  • Engage potential funders to continue LGBTQ veteran outreach at Swords to Plowshares


’16 Alumnus Selected for Prestigious Equal Justice Works Post Graduate Fellowship

Vets Kicked Out for Being Gay Can Upgrade Their Discharge

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