Veterans Day, 2020: Message from John G. Levi, Chairman, Legal Services Corporation

November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON – Legal Services Corporation Board of Directors Chair John G. Levi released the following statement in observance of Veterans Day:

Today we join the nation in honoring the courageous men and women who have worn the uniform in service to our country.

For 47 years, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and its 132 grantees in every state have helped veterans struggling with eviction, foreclosure, wrongful denial of benefits and other civil legal needs, last year assisting more than 96,000 veterans and members of their families.

This legal assistance is vital. LSC’s 2017 Justice Gap Report found that 71% of low-income households with veterans or other military personnel had experienced a civil legal problem within the past year. The most recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs annual survey of homeless veterans found that four of their top twelve unmet needs involve legal assistance. An additional four of the highest unmet needs frequently have a legal component.

Over the years, LSC and its grantees have supported veterans in a number of ways, including launching StatesideLegal.org, the first national website focused on helping veterans and military families; establishing medical-legal partnerships with veterans’ health centers; operating legal hotlines for veterans; taking part in Stand Down events for homeless veterans; sponsoring and participating in Military Mondays, receiving regular referrals from veterans groups; and other outreach and advocacy programs. 

Earlier this year, LSC launched a new and far-reaching initiative, a national Veterans Task Force to raise awareness of the civil legal needs of veterans, promote partnerships among legal aid providers and other organizations that serve veterans, highlight successful model programs, and map out strategies to increase pro bono legal service for vets.

After concluding hearings, the Task Force will issue its report next year, affirming once again LSC’s commitment to ensuring that our nation’s veterans receive the high-quality legal assistance that they so richly deserve. 

Those who fight across the globe to preserve our freedom should not have to fight for access to justice when they return home.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.