Free virtual legal clinic for veterans Jan. 23


A free virtual legal clinic for Georgia veterans will be held Saturday, Jan. 23, from 9 to 11 a.m. Veterans in the Columbus and Macon areas will be able to access the clinic through physical locations in each city, while veterans from across the state can connect for services via webcam or telephone.

The Georgia Veterans Outreach Project provides quick advice and brief service on issues with special relevance to former military members, including veterans and military benefits and other civil legal matters, such as consumer, family, housing, shelter and other civil issues, but not criminal legal issues. Co-organizer Alexander W. Scherr, who directs the University of Georgia School of Law's Veterans Legal Clinic, said the project seeks to reach veterans in smaller communities and rural areas around the state, where lawyers are not always easily available.

Veterans without access to reliable telephone or internet service can travel to physical locations, where the project will provide computers to communicate with attorneys - who are participating remotely using Zoom software - as well as printers and scanners. Project staff will be on-site to provide technical assistance. Participants are asked to help maintain social distancing and to wear appropriate face coverings.

Interested veterans need to register in advance for an appointment by calling (706) 542-6439 or emailing uga.veteransclinic@gmail.com. The registration process will aid project managers in matching participants with experienced attorneys. Information about how, where and when to connect will be provided to veterans thereafter.

The Georgia Veterans Outreach Project includes six virtual clinics designed to extend legal services to former military members throughout Georgia. The project held the first clinic in Athens last November.

Future dates and locations are:

Feb. 27 - East Georgia (Savannah/Augusta)
March 27 - South Georgia (Brunswick/Albany)
June 5 - Northwest Georgia (Dalton)
July 10 - Northeast Georgia (Gainesville)
Veterans from other parts of Georgia can participate in any of the virtual clinics depending on available attorneys. Co-organizer Christopher Pitts, director of the Military Legal Assistance Project of the Georgia Legal Services Program, said the goal is to ensure there are enough attorneys to provide quality advice and guidance.

The Georgia Veterans Outreach Project represents a partnership between the Veterans Legal Clinic and the Military Legal Assistance Project and is funded by the American Bar Association.

The School of Law's Veterans Legal Clinic is funded by a lead gift from renowned trial attorney and 1977 law school alumnus James E. "Jim" Butler Jr., who also supports the school's Butler Commitment that guarantees financial aid to 100 percent of student veteran law school matriculants.