Important VA Legal Training – Nov. 1

Nov 1, 2013 12:00 am
Online and In-person

Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on VA Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Veteran Cultural Competency 2013 PLI training 

Celebrate Veterans Day early this year by attending this important training and helping a veteran in need of legal services. There are over 21 million veterans in the U.S., and many of them are not aware of the benefits to which they are entitled. Both medical and financial assistance are available to men and women who have served in the military, but some who can qualify are not receiving the benefits that they need. Attorneys can assist veterans with the problems that preclude them from receiving benefits. Attend this program to learn from veteran law experts how you can make a difference!

Theresa Mesa — Program Developer, Office of Legal Services,
The State Bar of California
Teresa Panepinto — Legal Director, Swords to Plowshares


  1. Attorneys and other advocates must be accredited to practice before the VA. To obtain accreditation you must complete this form:
  2. Accreditation by the VA may take several weeks, so do not delay filing your application. You can speed up the process by emailing the form to [email protected], and including a copy of your State Bar Certificate of Good Standing.
  3. Within 12 months of accreditation you are required to complete three hours of qualifying CLE. The morning session of this program satisfies that requirement, but only if you have already received your accreditation from the VA.

Attorneys and other advocates who become accredited will be listed on a national VA list, and are entitled to represent veterans in their claims for benefits, on a pro bono basis, and for attorney’s fees on appeals, where they are available.

What You Will Learn

Nearly 45% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seek compensation from the VA for service-related injuries. A stunning 30% suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of those who should receive benefits will be denied. All of them will wait months or years for the VA to issue decisions on their claims. Learn how to navigate the VA claims process and to become an effective advocate for veterans in need. This all-day program will provide an overview of VA disability law and military discharge review law. You will gain an understanding of different types of military discharges, why they are important, and how you can help veterans with less-than-honorable discharges.

  1. The three morning sessions provide the basics you need to represent veterans before the VA. The morning sessions fulfill the VA’s requirement for qualifying CLE within the first 12 months of your VA accreditation.
  2. The 1:45 p.m. session, Veterans’ Cultural Competency: Combat to Community, will help veterans’ advocates to understand the challenges that veterans face in their transition to a noncombat community.
  3. The 2:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. sessions will provide attorneys with the tools that they need to assist veterans in upgrading their discharge status and removing stigmatizing information from their discharge documents.

Who Should Attend
Attorneys seeking meaningful pro bono opportunities and any advocate who wants to help change the life of a veteran with a disability should attend. Attorneys seeking to meet the VA’s CLE requirements for new and continuing VA accreditation should also attend. Finally, attorneys who hope to expand their practice areas to include veterans’ cases where fees are available should register to attend.

Want to attend the program with your colleagues and volunteers but can’t make it in person? Schedule a PLI Groupcast to allow group viewing via Live or On-Demand Webcast in your office! Contact the Groupcasts Department via email at [email protected] for more details.

FREE San Francisco and Live Webcast, November 1, 2013

Learn More

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