VetLex is Open for Referrals in Southwestern PA
VetLex, a national, dedicated web-based network of coordinated pro bono service providers to serve the legal needs of veterans, is now open for referrals in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
VetLex does not provide legal services; rather, it is an online cooperative system of intake, assessment, and referral envisioned to quickly and effectively connect veterans in need of legal services with those who stand ready to provide them.
The American Bar Association, with sponsorship from Jones Day, have partnered with Unite Us, a technology company, to build the platform. A pilot of VetLex launched in late 2017, and it will increase in scale, eventually becoming a national platform in 2018.
Currently, legal assistance through VetLex is limited to certain geographic regions and certain legal subject areas. The scope of both will expand as the pilot testing continues. This page will be updated as more geographic and legal service areas come online for legal service delivery throughout the pilot testing phase. However, regardless of where a veteran lives, if there are legal needs pertaining to a discharge or appealing a disability determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VetLex can provide a referral.
VetLex is a tool for lawyers who would like to represent veterans but don’t know how to get involved or how to find veteran clients. Lawyers can sign onto VetLex and create a profile that limits the kinds of cases they are willing to take on.
For example, many in-house corporate attorneys have difficulty finding pro bono opportunities because they live and work in a place where they are not barred. Those attorneys can become accredited with the Department of Veterans Affairs and take on veterans benefit cases. Another example is an associate at a large firm looking for pro bono opportunities. He or she can register with VetLex and take on a family law case. VetLex may also provide brief banks, chat boards, and other case management mechanisms to allow lawyers serving veterans to share resources nationally.
VetLex also offers information about social service providers who can address issues that often occur in tandem with legal issues (e.g. employment, housing, medical, etc.). While VetLex may not conduct direct referrals to these “wrap-around” services, it provides a convenient and accessible way for veterans and their counsel to see what other services may exist in that community that would benefit the veteran.
For more information and to enroll with VetLex please visit https://vetlex.org/.