Expansion

(Terwilliger Place Rendering)

M-VETS currently operates out of offices located in the Antonin Scalia Law School. The clinic is staffed solely by the Director and Deputy Director who oversee all clinic cases and directly supervise Student Advisors working on those matters.  In addition to providing legal assistance to the military community, M-VETS’s clinical professors carry out a pedagogical mission to provide law students with hands-on, practice-oriented legal experience working with real clients and an opportunity to learn about, interact with and give back to the military and veteran community.

In order to assist a greater number of veterans and to expand its scope of services, M-VETS has partnered with American Legion Post 139 to provide free legal services in the newly renovated Post headquarters housed in the Lucille and Bruce Terwilliger Place, an affordable housing complex spearheaded by the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.  The project will provide 160 affordable apartments, half of which will be reserved for veteran-tenants, as well as a modern, 6,000-square-foot facility to house the new American Legion Post 139 headquarters.  The American Legion has agreed to provide a dedicated M-VETS office in the new space, in addition to one general-purpose room, which can be reserved for M-VETS use as needed.

In order to staff the new M-VETS outpost co-located in the American Legion’s new headquarters, M-VETS seeks funding to hire a staff attorney dedicated to providing walk-in legal services, direct representation in VA/military matters and Virginia criminal/traffic cases, while also supervising law students in these practice areas.

Scope of Services Provided at M-VETS American Legion Outpost

M-VETS will staff a full-time attorney in the American Legion outpost.  The staff attorney will be licensed to practice law in Virginia and will have experience with the VA/military matters handled in the clinic.  In an effort to expand M-VETS scope of services, this staff attorney will also have experience litigating criminal/traffic cases in Virginia state courts—an area of practice that M-VETS does not currently cover.

The staff attorney will provide direct representation in these matters to veterans, servicemembers, and their dependents.  In addition, the staff attorney will hold regularly scheduled walk-in hours, during which members of the military community may seek free legal counsel and either referrals to the M-VETS application or outside legal resources.  Under the supervision of the staff attorney, M-VETS student advisors will assist during walk-in hours by performing intake duties, legal research, and observing the counseling sessions.

Anticipated Increase in Output with Addition of Staff Attorney

Comparison of Clinic Output Over 5 Year Period:  1 Attorney vs. 2 Attorneys

BLUF: With the addition of a second full-time attorney, total clinic production increased approximately 60%.

  Fall 2011 – Spring 2016 (1 Atty) Fall 2016 – Spring 2021 (2 Attys) Projection w/ 3 Attorneys (over 5 years)
Private Market Value of Pro Bono Services ($225/hr) $1,106,415 $2,603,880 $3,825,000
Client Hours 4,919.4 11,572.8 17,000
Clinic Hours 3,647.8 12,154.7 18,000
Total Hours 8,567.2 23,727.5 35,000
# of Students 77 116 175

With the addition of a third full-time attorney, M-VETS anticipates the same increase in production for the clinic.

Funding Required for Staff Attorney

Beginning with a base annual salary of $60,000, plus benefits, M-VETS estimates that the cost to fund a staff attorney for a ten-year period is approximately $1,000,000.  A capital campaign to fund this position is currently underway.  If you would like to donate to this cause you can donate here:

 

M-VETS relies on private donations and is grateful to the individuals, corporations, and foundations who have generously provided support to the clinic: