Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic

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About

The Veterans Clinic is a one-semester clinic in which students represent low-income veterans seeking disability compensation and other benefits.

Students will represent veterans in two types of proceedings: (1) applications for disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and (2) discharge upgrade petitions to the military boards. Students will work in teams of two and share responsibility for their cases. Students will be given as much autonomy as possible in making decisions about their cases. 

Students will receive training on the steps involved in filing benefits and discharge upgrade applications, including interviewing clients and witnesses, analyzing military medical records, requesting and coordinating medical examinations, and preparing client claims submissions. Each student will have at least one opportunity to draft a legal brief for submission to an agency, among other written work. Depending on the case, students may also appear in VA administrative hearings. Throughout the process, students maintain regular contact with their clients, advising and counseling them at each stage.

Class and Team Meetings

As part of their clinic work, students meet as a group at a regularly scheduled time to discuss assigned readings and review cases. In addition, case teams will have weekly team meetings with their supervisor at a regularly scheduled time to be determined at the start of the spring semester. 

Registration and Requirements

Registration for the Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic is limited to third-year students. A lottery registration meeting for Externship and Clinical Programs is held approximately one month into the spring semester of your second year. Notices are posted throughout the law school and emailed to the second-year student listserv. After the lottery registration meeting, students are given an opportunity to register for their program preferences online.

While not required, Administrative Law is recommended as a pre- or co-requisite.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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