The University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law is launching a new clinic to provide legal services for Arkansas veterans.
Through the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, law students at the Bowen School of Law will represent – under the supervision of a law school faculty member – Arkansas veterans who are navigating the Veterans Affairs disability appeal process and reconsideration of discharge status.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge were on-hand today (Aug. 20) to unveil the plans for the new clinic. The Veteran Legal Services, a $1.5 million project, is being jointly funded by Hutchinson and Rutledge, who each funded $750,000 for the program.
“Arkansas is home to over 250,000 veterans who have honorably served our country to protect our freedoms,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “Sadly, too many veterans do not have the financial means to address service-related legal issues. The funds allocated to the Veterans Legal Services Clinic will not only provide legal assistance to our nation’s heroes, but it will give future attorneys the education, opportunity and desire to serve those who have served us.”
This clinic will also serve as a Veterans Pro Bono Services Center for Arkansas. Practicing attorneys can obtain free continuing legal education on veterans’ legal issues from the clinic, and the clinic will match attorneys with Arkansas veterans who require legal aid.
“These two endeavors further Bowen’s commitment to our core values of access to justice, public service, and professionalism,” said Theresa Beiner, dean of the law school. “The legal clinic’s goal is to spark in our students a lifelong dedication to serving this very worthy group. The services center will continue that mission by providing attorneys with training opportunities and helping them connect with veterans in need of legal services.”
The clinic is slated to open in fall 2020. This will be the law school’s seventh legal clinic; the other clinics include Business Innovations, Consumer Protection, Delta, Litigation, Mediation, and Tax.