December 2013

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Written by Cesar Torres, Executive Director
Northwest Justice Project

Low-income veterans across Washington now have an expanded NJP Veterans Project to help address the multitude of civil legal problems that prevent them from securing jobs, finding and keeping affordable housing, and ensuring they receive needed medical care and other benefits. Starting this month, NJP has expanded its Veterans Project from one (1) to six (6) full time attorneys to provide legal assistance to veterans from offices in Spokane, Everett, Olympia Seattle, and Tacoma and will launch a dedicated toll-free number for veterans seeking legal assistance on November 1st.

Washington is home to more than 650,000 veterans, including a greater than ever population of women veterans. A great number of veterans are dealing with difficulties transitioning to civilian life and the negative effects of sometimes multiple combat deployments, starting with the first Gulf War in 1990 through more recent deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. (more…)

Written by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson

In order to practice law, every attorney must take an oath. In order to wear a uniform, every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman must also take an oath. The oaths themselves are strikingly similar – both include statements of support for the constitution and a promise to serve interests outside of one’s self. Veterans serve and defend our country and our rule of law. The constitution and legal system our veterans took an oath to protect should serve them in return.

The legal community has a duty to ensure our veterans and military families know their legal rights and can access the resources they need. There are a number of laws granting unique protections and benefits to our veterans and military families, enacted in acknowledgment and appreciation of their service and sacrifice. Some of these laws alleviate certain civil obligations in order to help military personnel called to active duty focus on their mission. Other laws are intended to give a helping hand to veterans to advance their education or improve their vocational opportunities. These laws all recognize the sacrifices our brave men and women in uniform make in service to us. As lawyers, we must ensure that veterans and military personnel understand the rights they have. (more…)