Rebecca Thornton

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

The Project

Sarah provided holistic civil legal help, in a trauma-informed manner, to promote stability for veterans in St. Louis by starting a legal aid Veterans’ Project, involving pro bono assistance.

Veterans are in dire need of vigorous, trauma-informed advocacy on their behalf in areas such as housing, public benefits, education, domestic violence, and consumer issues. Veterans’ household members often need legal help to ease the burden on the military person. A centralized, veteran-oriented project at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) is a helpful resource for different groups of veterans in St. Louis, making navigation of this complicated landscape much easier for veterans and their families.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Sarah has:

  • Provided full legal representation to 67 clients in areas such as housing, family law, and consumer protection, and has ongoing cases with 57 individual and organizational clients
  • Delivered advice, brief service, and referrals for 140 veterans and their household members, either directly through in-person meetings, phone calls, and emails or by working with VA caseworkers and other service providers
  • Cultivated partnerships with 13 community organizations to improve legal and social services for veterans in the St. Louis region through extensive outreach
  • Facilitated and/or participated in 10 presentations and workshops for veterans, attorneys, and non-attorney service providers on legal issues impacting veterans and their household members

Next Steps

Sarah plans to continue her career in public interest law. She is working with LSEM to secure new funding while they provide legal assistance to veterans and their household members.