The Stateside Legal Advocate Tool Kit

Advocate Toolkits

Below are resources that we find helpful in advocating for veterans, service members and their families. You may want to book-mark this page for easy reference. We have also created smaller tool kits, focusing on veterans, active military, and tax issues:

VA Advocate Tool Kit

Certification Issues Attorneys and advocates wishing to handle VA cases must be accredited by the VA to do so. Learn more about the VA accreditation process here.   It can take several months for this process to be completed.

Advocate Toolkit: VA Disability Compensation Claim

Helpful online resources for advocates helping veterans with their VA disability comp claims.

Military Advocate Tool Kit

This listing of resources is designed for legal aid and private attorney advocates who are working with military legal families on civil legal questions but may need to access federal law or regulations specific to their military status:

Additional Resources

Military records: 

Proof of military service is essential.
The National Archives maintains detailed information about the process of documenting military service.  Your client or their "next of kin" can do this via the "E-Vets" portal maintained by the National Archive. 

If you are not the veteran or next of kin, you must complete the Standard Form 180 (SF 180) to request this information.

Overview Materials

The Military Commander and the Law. This current 736 page guide is designed as a desktop reference for JAG officers. It includes information on various legal issues specific to current military members and their families, with appropriate statutory citations.

The American Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide. This 649 page guide,  edited by David Addlestone and Craig Kubey with contributions from over 20 legal experts, covers a very wide variety of legal issues important to this client population. It was originally developed for Veterans for America and is now hosted online by the National Veterans Legal Services Program. Please note that the Guide has not been updated since 2009.

The Law Review Library maintained by Captain Sam Wright of the Reserve Officers Association, covering a wide range of topics with special emphasis on USERRA and SCRA protections.

GAO reports on VA and Department of Defense programs and services:  These reports contain valuable background information and explanations on many of the most significant VA and Dept of Defense benefits;

Congressional Committees on Veterans Affairs: The United States House and Senate Committees on Veteran Affairs include information about pending legislation and other important resources.

Justice for Vets offers a clearinghouse website and other resources for  those interested in veteran treatment courts. 

More here


Federal Statutes and Regulations

United States Code ·       

Code of Federal Regulations: Go here to view the complete CFR directory of federal regulations.
The following are short-cuts to some volumes that may be particularly useful: