The Feerick Center is excited to be working to establish a new veterans project as part of its most recent grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The center will work with government agencies and nonprofit social and legal services providers to create opportunities that enable volunteer attorneys to serve low-income veterans. Camilla Leonard, a 2017–2018 AmeriCorps VISTA member, is helping design and implement the project. Joseph Crowley, an attorney and veteran, is serving as a program coordinator in a volunteer capacity.
The center’s Volunteer Lawyers for Veterans Project aims to serve low-income veterans who have unmet civil legal needs. Mini pilot projects are being developed to assist veterans with three civil legal practice areas: family law, consumer debt collection, and VA benefits.
The project has established an advisory committee. Committee members include a current Fordham Law School student and veteran, David Lacker ’19; a Fordham Law alumnus and veteran, Peter Brown ’75; legal services providers with expertise in family law and consumer and veterans’ issues, Shelly Barasch of DC 37 / MELS, Lucy McCarthy of the New York State Defenders Association, and Laura Russell of The Legal Aid Society; and a Fordham Law alumna with extensive pro bono expertise, Stacey O’Haire Fahey ’88, of Lawyers Alliance for New York. The center deeply appreciates the involvement and participation of the advisory committee members; they are providing invaluable guidance and support during this early planning and development phase.
Pilot efforts are currently planned involving limited-scope consumer law clinics and know-your-rights presentations. Additional clinics will likely focus on VA benefits. To launch the project’s efforts, the center is holding a training on military cultural competence on April 16, 2018, from 1– 4 p.m. at Fordham Law. For more information on the Volunteer Lawyers for Veterans Project or the training, please contact Camilla Leonard. Register.