VLSC secures nearly $100K to assist rural veterans with SIU’s School of Law

As published by CNBC

The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has secured four new grants to continue its work fighting for the legal rights of veterans, including those in rural communities with limited access to legal help. The grants came from the Legal Service Corporation, the McCormick Foundation, the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

The grants were given to John Marshall’s Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC) to support its new Urban/Rural Initiative with Southern Illinois University’s School of Law. John Marshall partnered with Southern Illinois University to provide much-needed legal services to veterans who reside in southern Illinois’ rural communities and to the more than 375,000 veterans who reside in the urban northeastern area of the state of Illinois. Illinois has a total veteran population of 721,575.

Brian Clauss, executive director of the VLSC at John Marshall, said access to care is a significant concern for rural veterans. “There’s a tremendous need in Southern Illinois for these types of services,” Clauss said. “They simply do not have access to the same resources a veteran in Chicago has.”

In addition to the Urban/Rural Initiative, the grants will assist the VLSC’s efforts in the Veterans Court Project where the VLSC provides services to veterans who have been incarcerated. They also will allow the VLSC to continue providing indigent veterans with legal and technical assistance in their pursuit of benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Since 2006, the VLSC has been a national leader in serving deserving veterans denied benefits for service-connected injury or illness by the Veterans Benefits Administration. Law students working in the clinic gain real-world experience working with veterans while under the direct supervision of licensed clinical attorneys and professors.

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