There are more than 200,000 veterans in Connecticut, many with acute legal needs related to their military service or return to civilian life. In this clinic, established in 2010, students represent veterans in litigation before administrative agencies and courts across a broad range of matters such as veterans’ benefits, discharge upgrade, immigration, civil rights, and habeas petitions. Students also represent local and national organizations in systemic litigation, including class action suits, and in regulatory and legislative reform efforts, media advocacy, and strategic planning.
The clinic makes a special effort to assist groups that are marginalized within the military, such as Black and Latinx veterans, women and immigrants, LGBTQ+ veterans, veterans with disabilities, and survivors of military sexual trauma. Clinic students often approach veterans’ law through the lens of civil rights and disability justice.
Students in their first semester of VLSC participate in a substantive seminar and are assigned one individual client matter and one institutional or collective client matter. Returning students have the option of participating in a weekly one-hour advanced seminar for an additional credit in addition to continuing in their casework or joining new matters.
Resources for Veterans
Summer interns with VLSC can expect to be involved in a large number of diverse matters for both individual and institutional clients, reflecting the overall clinic docket.