DAV Charitable Service Trust President Richard E. Marbes (fourth from left) presents a check to the President and Fellows of Harvard College to support the school’s Veterans Legal Clinic, which provides ill and injured veterans with top-notch legal assistance.

Trust supports veterans through Harvard Veterans Legal Clinic

Since being chartered by Congress in 1932, DAV has filed more than 11.5 million VA claims, resulting in more than $20 billion in benefits for service members, veterans and their families. Last year alone, DAV filed more than 200,000 claims on their behalf. Sometimes, however, veterans and their families need additional legal help beyond what DAV normally offers.

Last August, DAV’s Charitable Service Trust significantly increased an existing grant to the Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC) at Harvard Law School in order to respond to those additional needs. The grant more than doubled the total amount of a previous grant to the VLC, now totaling more than $3 million to cover the entire cost of a decade of veterans advocacy. This expands support of the clinic’s pro bono work in a number of law practice areas, such as appealing veterans benefit denials in federal court, acquiring discharge upgrades, estate planning and combatting predatory veteran student lending.

“The Trust is always looking for diverse and innovative opportunities to put its resources to work for veterans. Supporting the Harvard Veterans Law Program accomplishes that,” said Trust President Richard E. Marbes, who traveled to Boston last October to formally present the grant to the school.

“Much of the work at the clinic is performed by law students under the close supervision of faculty,” explained Harvard law professor Daniel Nagin. “We are well aware of DAV’s nationwide programs to assist disabled veterans and their families, and Harvard is proud to join the army of advocates—lawyers and nonlawyers alike—devoting themselves to this important cause.”

According to Marbes, that devotion serves as an investment for the veteran community at large.

“Not only is Harvard Law School providing pro bono legal services for veterans, it’s instilling a commitment to veterans and the issues we face in the best of the next generation of lawyers,” he said.

“We are humbled and privileged to have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of disabled veterans and to work every day to help close the justice gap for those who have worn the uniform,” said Nagin.

“DAV is a nationwide leader in representing veterans,” said National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “Partnering with Harvard is a true testament to the lengths DAV will go in order to ensure veterans receive the best services and representation possible.”