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Legal Services for Struggling Veterans - Then and Now

42 Pages Posted: 28 May 2010 Last revised: 21 Oct 2010

Steven K. Berenson

Thomas Jefferson School of Law


This Article was written as part of a symposium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Southeastern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS). During this past century, the broader movement for the provision of civil legal services to poor people in America went through a number of periods of expansion, contraction, and stasis. Yet, for the most part, struggling veterans stood outside those ebbs and flows, and have not generally been considered an appropriate demographic group at which to target the provision of free civil legal assistance.

This Article seeks to document that fact, and to consider why it is so. The Article then goes on to discuss challenges in representing struggling veterans, particularly those returning from the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also discusses some recent initiatives to increase the availability of free civil legal assistance to struggling veterans.

Keywords: veterans legal services, legal aid, legal services

JEL Classification: K10, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Berenson, Steven K., Legal Services for Struggling Veterans - Then and Now. Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, Vol. 31, No. 1, p. 101, 2009; Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 1616885; NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 10/11 # 3. Available at SSRN:

Steven Berenson (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

1155 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4205 (Phone)

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