William & Mary law students help vets claim benefits

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by Mike Gooding, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 27 at 6:39 PM

WILLIAMSBURG -- As the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal continues to unfold, military vets have at least one ally fighting for them: The College of William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law.  

Since opening in 2008, students at the Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic have provided legal representation for 68 vets seeking benefits compensation. So far, the clinic has succeeded in recovering more than $700,000 worth of owed benefits. 

It's estimated that clinic students have donated $4 million worth of pro bono legal services; all free to veterans.

"We send them off to war and they suffer and they fight for us and to come back and have really long waiting times, to be denied benefits they justly deserve is a horrible thing," said law student Aaron Petters. "So, it's nice to be a part of that solution."

Clinic Director Patty Roberts says it is an honor to be able to help. 

"It really is a calling," said Roberts. "And we have a long history at William and Mary of students who come here because they want to help the community and want to be citizen-lawyers, and what better way than to help our nation's veterans?"

 

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