Advocate Training Resources and Other Tools
The following is an alphabetical list of programs, tools, and resources that may be useful to civilian advocates interested in strengthening their practice on behalf of veterans or military families.
American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assistance to Military Personnel [LAMP] offers private attorneys a range of ways to provide pro bono legal assistance to service members, and provides them with supportive services (including a membership-only website) and other tools. The LAMP Committee website also provides a list of CLE materials prepared for LAMP trainings since 2002. The ABA also sells a SCRA Guide for Attorneys and attorney Mark Sullivan's "Military Divorce Handbook: A Practical Guide to Representating Military Personnel and their Families."
E-Learning Course: Safety At Home - Intimate Partner Violence, Military Personnel, and Veterans. The course is designed for advocates (military and civilian) who provide services to military-related families experiencing intimate partner violence. It is recommended to create a usernames as it is the only way to save progress in the course.
Military Law Task Force: This membership group is a national committee of the National Lawyers Guild. The Task Force publishes ON WATCH and other mailings on legal and political issues, sponsors seminars and workshops on draft, military and veterans law, produces educational materials on these issues, and provides support for members on particular cases or projects.
The National Organization of Veteran Advocates: NOVA is a non-profit membership association of VA accredited lawyers and agents who represent veterans and their families. Formed in 1993, it provides semiannual seminars for networking and training in veterans law and mentoring for its members.
National Legal Aid and Defender Association: This membership organization sponsors annual conferences and provides other supportive services important to general legal services and public defender work for individual and organizational members. To review materials produced for a 2010 NLADA session on these issues, click here. Materials produced for the 2011 conference are available here.
The National Veterans Legal Services Program is a national advocacy organization for clients, which also provides training and resource tools for advocates. They sell a "Veterans Benefits Manual" and related DVD. NVLSP also provides free training programs to pro bono attorneys interested in participating in the Veterans Pro Bono Consortium.
The ROA Servicemember Law Center offers free access to hundreds of articles drafted by Captain Sam Wright on various legal rights specific to military families, including USERRA, SCRA, and voting rights. The Center also supports case consultations with Captain Wright.
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law publishes Clearinghouse Review, a journal focused on best practice in litigation and advocacy on issues related to social and economic justice. The Review has included many articles specific to veterans or military clients, including a special issue devoted to this topic in Sept-October 2009. (Note: They charge for downloading articles from the archive.) It also supports high quality training for the civil legal aid community around the country.
State Bar Associations. Many State bar associations offer a special committee or section focused on military or veteran advocacy, with related training programs and other resources. The following is partial list of those programs based on current information:
Veterans Pro Bono Consortium: This program matches eligible veterans needing representation before the U.S. Court of Veteran Appeals with private attorneys willing to take their cases on a pro bono basis. It provides free training and manuals to attorneys who agree to participate in the program.
If you are aware of other resources that should be included in this site, please let us know.