Lonnie’s project seeks to ensure equal justice to low-income veterans and military families with legal issues.
As a Fellow, Lonnie will:
- Conduct educational outreach
- Provide legal aid clinics
- Attend housing court
Lonnie is a veteran who lives with minimal means while supporting two children.
Cassandra provides civil litigation services to low-income veterans and their families.
As a Fellow, Cassandra will:
- Administer know your rights presentations
- Conduct clinics
- Attend stand-downs
- Educate providers
“I am in the military myself. I relate to many of the veterans. The veteran community is family to me,” Cassandra says.
Tiffanie will assist in VA and military hearings and work with students in the legal clinic in order to aid financially eligible veterans and their families.
As a Fellow, Tiffanie will:
- Do outreach
- Perform client intake
- Assemble evidence
- Conduct interviews
- Research relevant law
Tiffanie is a veteran interested in giving back to her community.
Liz works with veterans to resolve legal issues such as family law, housing, and VA benefits issues.
As a Fellow, Liz will:
- Provide legal representation to veterans
- Run legal clinics
- Develop a medical-legal partnership
- Participate in community engagement
“Our veterans and their families deserve much support, and this fellowship allows me to contribute,” Liz says.
Veterans continue to experience drastically high rates of homelessness, poverty, and suicide. Patrick aimed to address this by providing free legal services to veterans, and collaborated with the Veterans Administration to find veterans in need of legal assistance.
John’s Fellowship seeks to address any civil legal issue that impacts the veteran community in the state of Oklahoma. These issues include housing, family law, bankruptcy, consumer protection, veteran’s benefits, and other various issues that affect the livelihood of these selfless individuals. He also aims to assist the most underserved members of the more than 300,000 veterans who currently reside in Oklahoma.
As a Fellow, John will:
- Facilitate a legal clinic for veterans at the VA Medical Center located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Facilitate a legal clinic for veterans at the Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation located in Norman, Oklahoma
- Recruit law students at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, the University of Tulsa College of Law, and the Oklahoma City University School of Law to assist veterans with the application process for legal services
- Create advertisements to be placed online and in traditional print publications in order to inform members of the public about the legal services currently available to veterans in Oklahoma
The opportunity to provide legal representation to the brave men and women who have placed their lives on the line for my freedom is one that I certainly do not take for granted. I also have a genuine passion for this work as I enjoy helping others in need. Further, representing the Veteran community in Oklahoma is particularly meaningful to me because of my family’s extensive history of military service.
John Austin /
Equal Justice Works Fellow
Samantha’s Fellowship seeks to address the ongoing legal and health needs that many veterans have, often as a result of their time in service. Veterans, their family members, caregivers, and survivors are all impacted by these needs. By providing free legal representation and referrals, she will directly improve the lives of these individuals.
As a Fellow, Samantha screens cases pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on behalf of her host site in order to place them with volunteer attorneys, and provides direct representation in some of those cases. She also meets with veterans via a pro bono legal clinic hosted at the DC VA Medical Center. Samantha refers those veterans to a number of different partner organizations that are able to provide direct representation when she personally cannot.
“As the daughter of two navy veterans, I have always had a great deal of respect for those who dedicate their time to the military. I knew that I wanted my law degree to give me the opportunity to serve litigants that are typically pro se and have limited access to justice. When I externed for my host site during law school, I realized that this is how I could do that. My favorite part of what I do is that everyone involved (the clients, the volunteer attorneys, the VA’s lawyers, the Court, etc.) have the goal of helping veterans. Even when they disagree on how to best help, they still want to help,” says Samantha.
Roy’s project aims to bring legal aid and help to veterans and their families on a full range of issues, such as family law, consumer protection, expungements, evictions, landlord/tenant issues, discharge upgrades, Social Security claims, and Veteran Administration claims on an extended basis.
As a Fellow, Roy will:
- Perform outreach at VA sites
- Arrange community actions and activities for veterans
- Serve as a member of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Military Committee
- Deliver professional presentations to peers
“As a retired soldier I sought to continue my efforts to help those in need and to those forgotten by a system they gave their all to, regardless of discharge status or disadvantage. This passion stems from my first JAGC assignment as a Trial Defense Counsel to a Combat Division in the very early 1980s, where I witnessed and unwittingly allowed young soldiers, especially female soldiers, to accept less than good discharges and punishments to escape situations that had harmed or scared them. I simply did not recognize that they sought to escape frightening situations in their units. I have tried to make up for my unwitting participation that punished the victims and allowed the culprits to soldier on by standing up for the underdog,” says Roy.
Veterans have unique health and income needs that depend on services provided by government agencies with complex requirements. Barriers such as the lack of awareness of specific types of services available, and where to locate them or how to apply, discourages them from getting the necessary help. The lack of access to legal representation in some cases contributes to veterans becoming at risk of homelessness.
Luis is a veteran and as a result, is familiar with some of the hardships active duty members, veterans, and their families have to face during and after military service. One of the main issues they face is not knowing where to receive help. As a Fellow, Luis has the opportunity to learn of additional resources and to be of use in providing legal help to those who need it.
Danielle’s project seeks to help low-income veterans with a wide array of civil legal issues ranging from landlord/tenant, veteran claims, social security claims, unemployment benefits, public assistance, and fair hearings.
During her Fellowship, Danielle will:
- Hold office hours at Bath VAMC
- Represent clients in town and village court
- Represent clients at fair hearings
- Represent clients at social security hearings
- Submit VA compensation claims and appeals
I wanted to become a lawyer to help people who are not always heard and help people empower themselves. I feel that this role as an advocate helps me do both of these for clients.
Danielle Bernard /
Equal Justice Works Fellow