More than 30 veterans from the surrounding communities registered and attended the pro bono Veterans Legal Services Clinic March 4 at NOVA’s Annandale Campus. NOVA was one of four locations throughout Virginia to host the clinics organized through a new partnership with the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), Virginia State Bar (VSB) and Virginia’s Attorney General Mark R. Herring.
Volunteer attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General and VSB were available to serve veterans and military families by drafting wills, powers of attorney and advance medical directives. The clinics took place in multiple locations during the first week of March. According to the Office of the Attorney General, the volunteer attorneys assisted more than 130 veterans by hosting the four clinics throughout Virginia.
Herring, who attended all four events, explained that the legal services provided during the pro bono clinics would normally cost between $500 and $1,000. While visiting, Herring spoke to veterans and their families and witnessed the signing of some of their wills.
“We at the Attorney General’s Office are very proud of our veterans. These are really important documents, and during life’s unexpected challenges the last thing you want to think about is who’s going to make decisions,” Herring explained. “This is not only helping veterans talk to family members about what their wishes are, but it also helps give a lot of them peace of mind.”
The Office of the Attorney General is dedicated to supporting Virginians who are serving and who have served in the military. There are 27 military bases in Virginia and approximately 750,000 Virginia residents are veterans.
Herring is personally committed to supporting employment opportunities for veterans, guard and reserve. In August 2014, Herring signed the ESGR Statement of Support pledging his support to Guard and Reserve employees. The Office of the Attorney General also became a member of the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program under the direction of Herring.
Director of Military and Veterans Services Takesha McMiller said this was her office’s first event partnering with the Office of the Attorney General and they look forward to planning a similar event at another NOVA campus.
“It’s important to provide additional services to our students along with education here at NOVA, and this is more of a financial and legal piece,” McMiller said. “We have started to build a partnership with the Office of the Attorney General. This is a new program for them and they’re looking to continue to do this on a quarterly basis. Our office is looking to partner with the Woodbridge Campus in April to do a second event at NOVA and hopefully do the same with other NOVA campuses in the future.”
Heather Hays Lockerman, senior assistant attorney general chief with the Financial Law and Government Support Section of the Office of the Attorney General, said they will continue to take registration applications through their website for those interested in upcoming legal clinic events.