GOLD2023

THE VETERANS CONSORTIUM PRO BONO PROGRAM

#theyfoughtforus

aka The Veterans Consortium   |   Washington, DC   |  www.vetsprobono.org

Mission

We believe that our veterans in need, our nation's defenders, deserve the care, benefits and compensation they were promised and the best legal services free of charge to meet their challenges.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Mr. Steve Jordon

Main address

2101 L Street NW Suite 840

Washington, DC 20037 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-1934881

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Legal Services (I80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Every year thousands of deserving veterans and their loved ones are unjustly denied hard-earned care and benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If they appeal within the VA and are still denied, they can take their case to the federal court system. The VA always has an attorney in court, and we believe the veterans in need should also have representation. In addition, former service men and women, especially those impacted by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and other mental health issues related to, or exacerbated by, service are given Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharges from the military services. They cannot even cite official veteran status in order to apply for benefits or compensation. These clients need your support to allow us to give them the best legal services - free of charge, to meet their Challenges.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

 Federal Court Appeals Program

TVC operates a nationwide federal Pro Bono Program on behalf of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, to represent veterans unjustly denied benefits or compensation earned from military service. Our volunteers also represent cases from this Court that are appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. This program also trains volunteer pro bono attorneys on federal appellate litigation experience during pro bono service. TVC provides significant case preparation, training, mentoring, and support that result in an extraordinarily high win rate.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

The TVC Discharge Upgrade Program provides national pro bono legal representation to service members who received less than honorable discharges for conduct related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or other anti-LGBTQ+ policies, or other mitigating factors. . Professional legal representation is key as these veterans seek to persuade an administrative board of the injustice. Pro bono attorneys can aid in upgrading the discharge to secure benefit eligibility for the veterans and restore the dignity.

Population(s) Served

TVC manages two regular pro bono legal clinics for veterans at the DC VA Medical Center. One clinic is available exclusively to women veterans and staffed by female attorneys; the other clinic is for all veterans. In addition to these regular clinics, TVC also hosts pop-up specialized pro bono legal clinics to meet the increase need for legal assistance across various areas of law such as family law, employment law, and wills/estates law. This program serves Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia areas.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

In addition to managing the Pro Bono Legal Clinic for Women Veterans (one of only 3 in the nation), WVLAP focuses on outreach and education to women veterans and organizations that support them. The WVLAP program trains female volunteers to support women veterans with their Military Sexual Trauma (MST) claims through a culturally competent approach, which informs them of their rights and the legal avenues available for their unique legal needs and challenges.

Population(s) Served

VNAP assists veterans applying for naturalization through military service. TVC volunteers are trained to assist veterans with their naturalization applications which involve gathering evidence, writing defenses when needed, and ensuring applications are properly completed. Practicing Immigration attorneys serve as Mentors to volunteers when needed.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Veterans
Veterans
Veterans

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to provide the best legal services free of charge to veterans in need, their families, caregivers, and survivors no matter where in the world they live. We provide access to prompt, thoughtful, and quality pro bono legal services for veterans and their loved ones who lack the means or ability to access them. Our team strives to treat our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve as we assist them in meeting their unique challenges.





For more than 30 years, The Veterans Consortium (TVC) has operated a national pro bono program on behalf of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. T

For over 30 years The Veterans Consortium (TVC) has handled more than 67,000 requests for legal assistance from Veterans in need, their loved ones, caregivers and survivors. We've recruited, trained and mentored over 6,000 attorneys from law firms and corporate legal departments across the country and we’ve succeeded in 83% of our federal cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. TVC volunteers have also been successful in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2017 we established our highly successful Discharge Upgrade Program which trains and mentors attorneys to primarily represent veterans with Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharges due to conduct related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and other mental health issues.

TVC manages and staffs two regularly scheduled pro bono legal clinics at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center. One of these clinics, is exclusively for women veterans and staffed with our female volunteer attorneys. We currently have special initiatives and plans to expand services related to women veterans and their unique needs, and veterans who seek a path to naturalization through their military service.
These achievements translate into over $136 million in pro bono legal services provided on behalf of Veterans in need. By our calculations, more than three times that in the lifetime value of care, benefits, and disability compensation that have changed our clients' lives.

TVC has recruits and trains close to 6,000 volunteer attorneys from the top law firms and corporate legal departments in the United States. TVC screens cases for eligibility and merit. When the screening results in a determination that the appeal satisfies the eligibility criteria, the appeal is placed with a volunteer attorney who has already been trained. A case-screening memorandum, which highlights the facts, and one or more appealable issues accompanies each referral. In addition, TVC provides seasoned advocates as mentors to all their volunteers. This formula has allowed us to provide quality representation and our rate of success has been consistently high, with a lifetime win rate of nearly 83 percent.

Stretching from coast to coast, our National Volunteer Corps has successfully represented cases from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. Territories (plus many countries where U.S. Veterans live abroad). As the leading national charitable organization providing pro bono legal services for Veterans in federal courts, our volunteers come from organizations as diverse as large corporate legal departments and small academic veterans law clinics, from a majority of the Am Law 200 firms to newly-minted solo practitioners. As varied as these backgrounds may be, these many volunteers joined forces as part of The Veterans Consortium to provide equal access to justice for our Veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court. Looking to the future, we want to expand our pilot pro bono Medical Review Program, support a paralegal position, expand our externships and internships for young legal professionals exploring a career of service in veterans law, and continue to help local veterans in need in our nation's capital by growing our D.C. Veterans Legal Clinic projects. We currently have special initiatives and plans to expand services related to women veterans and their unique needs, and to support veterans who seek a path to naturalization through their military service.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve

Financials

THE VETERANS CONSORTIUM PRO BONO PROGRAM
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

THE VETERANS CONSORTIUM PRO BONO PROGRAM

Board of directors
as of 10/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. William S. Foster, Jr. Esq.

Private Bar

Term: 2009 -

Leonard J. Selfon, Esq.

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Richard V. Spataro, Esq.

National Veterans Legal Services Program

William S. Foster, Jr. Esq.

Northrop Grumman

Roy E. Spicer

Disabled American Veterans

Aniela Szymanski, Esq.

Private Bar

Lee Gardner, Esq.

Google, Inc.

Mario A. Marquez

The American Legion

Lanita Morgan, Esq.

Private Bar

John Muckelbauer, Esq.

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No