Last year, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) reported that 86% of civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans in the past year received inadequate or no legal help. A large segment of that population is veterans.
Many different access to justice barriers make it challenging for veterans to have their legal needs met each year. Luckily, today, there are legal aid and other nonprofit organizations that can support the 19.5 million men and women who served in the armed forces here in the United States. One of those valuable resources is the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN).
IL-AFLAN is a network of Illinois legal aid organizations and law school clinics that provides civil legal information, advice, brief services (including the preparation and review of legal documents), and referrals to veterans, service members, national guard, reservists, and their spouses and dependents.
Network members include CARPLS, Center for Disability & Elder Law, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS), John Marshall Law, LAF, Land of Lincoln, Loyola Law, Prairie State, SIU Law, and most recently PILI.
In fact, earlier this year, the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) pursued a grant that would allow the organization to join forces with IL-AFLAN. Through the grant, PILI will be responsible for referring pro bono matters to the 101 counties outside of Cook County expanding the network’s current efforts dramatically.
PILI will begin receiving referral requests on July 1, 2018. They are currently looking for attorneys who would be able to volunteer with the network supporting local military personnel. If you are interested in volunteering through PILI to assist veterans, active duty military members and their families, please complete the registration form on PILI’s website.
If you are a veteran, active duty military, or the spouse or dependent of a veteran or active member of the military and in need of legal assistance, call 855-IL-AFLAN (855-452-3526) to talk to an attorney about discharge upgrades, benefits appeals, or other civil legal problems like family, housing, and consumer issues.