Providing veterans with access to legal representation can greatly improve the lives of men and women who have served our country. Studies have shown that veterans who have access to stable income, medical care, and legal services enjoy a lower incarceration rate, greater health & security and an over-all increase in their quality of life. However, without effective legal advocacy, many succumb to the ravages of homelessness or poverty.
With support from California-based Safeway, Inc., Northrop Grumman, a family foundation, and others, in 2009 Public Counsel created the Center for Veterans Advancement (CVA).
The Center is designed to be a “one stop shop” to educate, advocate for, and assist veterans and their families. In effectuating its mission as a national leader in veteran’s advocacy, the CVA provides direct representation, including representation through its pro- bono partners, to veterans and their families. The Center also coordinates its work with efforts to establish special “Veterans’ Courts” in Northern and Southern California, which are designed to meet the unique needs of returning veterans.
The Center manages legal service offices located in West Los Angeles & Hollywood, CA, including one of the largest pro bono advocacy programs in the United States.
Indeed, the CVA is driven by its core principle to “uphold our nation’s promise to veterans and their families.” This principle demands: stabilizing the living situation of veterans and their families; securing access to steady income & medical benefits; providing veterans with needed legal representation to overcome the burdens potentially faced in procuring employment, housing, medical care and/or supportive services. The CVA also plays an integral role in effecting systemic change within local, state, and governmental agencies to help veterans escape poverty or challenges to their quality of life.
Among its many roles, the CVA provides local & national training in the area of VA adjudication and representation, including providing veterans with effective legal representation before select state & federal court; the Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, in Washington, D.C.