Our legal services include free assistance to veterans who seek Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare, disability compensation, and pension; we also specialize in military discharge reviews and upgrades for veterans who received less than fully Honorable discharges.
Under attorney supervision, law clerks will engage in legal and factual research, write legal memoranda, interview potential clients and assess eligibility for services, write briefs, create and update self-help materials, and assist clients in obtaining public benefits. Opportunities may also be available to do policy work with Swords’ Institute of Veterans Policy (IVP). We are a small, collegial staff. We seek students who are dynamic, creative, and highly motivated.
Projects of previous law clerks include: writing memoranda on the impact of involvement with the criminal justice system on veterans benefits; writing briefs and representing veterans with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) before military discharge review boards; updating self-help materials; and creating an informational booklet for public defenders, district attorneys, and judges regarding California’s alternative sentencing law for combat veterans.
Semester clerkships for academic credit run concurrently with law school calendars; a minimum of 15 hours per week is required. Summer clerkships are unpaid, full-time (40 hours per week), and last for ten weeks.
- Demonstrated experience with or sensitivity to the needs of homeless and disabled veteran populations, particularly “hard to serve” populations.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with a high degree of accuracy in all work.
- Strong research skills.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- Commitment to the mission of Swords to Plowshares.
- Veteran preferred, or demonstrated familiarity with VA and veteran issues.
- Experience with administrative, military, or veterans law.
- Completion of Administrative Law course.
This position requires extended periods of sitting at a desk/computer station, meeting with clients, and doing administrative work such as data entry, photocopying, word processing, etc.
It also requires performing some tasks outside the office, such as attendance at meetings, or to the VA for hearings or file reviews. Law clerks must be able to perform all essential job requirements and responsibilities within what would be considered reasonable accommodation.
We are currently accepting applications for Fall 2012. Please send a cover letter detailing your interest in Swords to Plowshares along with a resume, legal writing sample, and list of three references on the form below.
The deadline has passed. Thank you for your interest.
Applications for Fall 2012 clerkships are due no later than Monday, April 23, 2012.
Veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Women, people of color, people with disabilities and LGBT individuals are also encouraged to apply. Please note that Swords to Plowshares will make reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities.