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Legal Services "Hub" for Veterans Launched by San Francisco Legal Providers

V-HUB gives those who served streamlined access to legal services    

December 7, 2015 San Francisco, CA – Legal service providers in San Francisco and the Veterans Administration have formed the Veterans Legal Resource Hub or V-HUB, a coordinated effort to bring comprehensive civil legal services to those who have served our country.  V-HUB provides a centralized phone number and web portal for veterans to contact for help in multiple areas of law and for referral to attorneys or social services.

V-HUB participants include Golden Gate University School of Law (GGULaw); Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center; Swords to Plowshares; The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and its Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) and Justice & Diversity Center; and the Veterans Administration.

V-HUB is the outcome of the Veterans Summit hosted by BASF in February 2014, which convened San Francisco veterans’ service and legal service providers to discuss how best to serve veterans in our community in need of legal representation.  Under the leadership of Douglas R. Young, of Farella Braun + Martel, Rachel Van Cleave, dean and professor of Law at GGU Law, and Teresa Panepinto, former legal services director and Kate Richardson, current legal services directors at Swords to Plowshares, the V-HUB was formed.  V-HUB provides a streamlined referral system where LRIS serves as the centralized entry point for veterans seeking legal services in San Francisco.

“Unfortunately, many of the more than 21 million U.S. veterans who have served our country are not aware of benefits—medical, financial, and otherwise—that are available to them, and moreover, where to turn for legal help,” said Doug Young, an attorney and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.  “V-HUB seeks to close the gap of unmet civil legal needs for veterans by centralizing referrals and connections to the right legal services programs who can assist.”

V-HubVeterans in need of legal services can call LRIS at 415-782-8909 to speak to an experienced legal interviewer who will confidentially screen callers, then refer them to partner agencies of the V-HUB, including attorneys, nonprofit legal service providers or social services organizations, depending on the nature of the legal services needed.  This screening will also include a financial needs assessment, which may result in veterans being referred to pro bono attorneys or attorneys willing to reduce their fees to accommodate veterans.

Besides calling, services can be accessed through LRIS’ online and mobile referral form available at www.sfbar.org/lris.  

Veterans out of the San Francisco area can contact LRIS and referrals will be made to agencies and lawyer referral service providers in their area.

According to Rachel Van Cleave, “GGU Law is delighted to be a part of V-HUB.  Our students in our Veterans Legal Advocacy Center learn valuable skills assisting veterans and working with V-HUB we can ensure that veterans are receiving exactly the legal services they need.”

A special thanks to Morrison & Foerster for their support of the V-HUB.

For more information about V-HUB, please contact Ann Murphy at amurphy@sfbar.org or 415-782-8908.