The Veterans Legal Collaborative is a project of Florida Coastal School of Law, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, Three Rivers Legal Services, the Veterans Administration Clinic and the Wounded Warrior Project.
The goal is to provide civil legal services for low-income veterans in our community. This is accomplished by identifying veterans in need of assistance through the clinic, Wounded Warrior Project and other organizations serving the military.
In operation for about eight months, the collaborative has served dozens of veterans facing a variety of civil legal matters.
Professor Sarah Sullivan of Florida Coastal School of Law spearheaded the project, facilitated a successful launch and has involved many law students in service to our local military population.
The monthly intake day at the veterans clinic in Downtown is an important component of the case identification process.
From September through May, veterans can make an appointment to speak to an attorney in a 20- to 30-minute consultation on one Friday per month. The intake day is from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
The goal of the consultation is brief counsel and advice on the matter(s) the veteran is facing. The attorney helps determine if the matter has merit and whether it is one the veteran can resolve as a pro se litigant.
If representation is recommended, a case may be opened for possible placement with an attorney.
The interviewing attorney may agree to assist further or the case may be referred to a Florida Coastal Experiential Learning Clinic, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, Three Rivers Legal Services or to a social service agency.
Law firms are needed to staff the monthly intake day at veterans clinic. The firm provides four to five interviewing attorneys from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on one Friday per year.
If the firm is able to accept a few cases for follow-up, that is encouraged and very helpful, but not required.
The firms that have agreed to staff an intake day in 2015-16 are Holland & Knight, Terrell Hogan, Akerman, McGuireWoods, Moseley Prichard Parrish Knight and Jones, Pajcic and Pajcic, Harris Guidi Rosner Dunlap and Rudolph, and Harrell and Harrell.
Firms interested in information and/or staffing one intake day per year are encouraged to contact Kathy Para at [email protected]
Jacksonville and the surrounding communities are home to a large number of veterans of all military branches. Northeast Florida is home to two major military bases, Jacksonville Naval Air Station and Mayport Naval Station.
Additionally, Camp Blanding (Florida National Guard and Army Reserve) is in Starke and the Joint Training Center for the National Guard (Army/Air Force) is in St. Augustine. Wounded Warrior Project’s international headquarters also are in Jacksonville.
“Northeast Florida is positively impacted by our military bases and the agencies that serve and support veterans and military personnel,” Sullivan said. “We are a grateful nation and our legal community has the skills, resources, and commitment to ensure that veterans who make Jacksonville their home have the ability to thrive. Many of us believe that we have a debt of gratitude to pay. These are people we are honored and privileged to serve.”