Free legal clinic relaunched for veterans

Free legal clinic relaunched for veterans

Free legal clinic relaunched for veterans

With restriction being lifted to combat the coronavirus, the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System and the Nevada Attorney General’s office are relaunching the veteran free legal clinic.

A ribbon cutting was held Feb. 11 at the Reno Elks Lodge.

Prior to the various shutdowns implemented because of Covid-19, veterans and their families weren’t able to seek free legal advice.

Lisa Hamilton, deputy director of the VA health care system, said most people don’t have the resources to seek legal advice and have their questions answered.

“We are very excited to resume this partnership with the Nevada Attorney General’s office in delivering this free legal services to our Nevada heroes,” she said.

Hamilton thanked Attorney General Aaron Ford for his leadership and for the support from his staff. She also acknowledged the Elks Club for providing space in their lodge for a legal clinic after the ribbon cutting, and Nevada Legal Services and other attorneys who volunteer their services.

Hamilton said the Reno VA and the Nevada Attorney General’s office were the first partnership in the nation to provide legal advice to veterans. Since 2015 when the program was first implemented by Navy veteran and former Attorney General Adam Laxalt, Hamilton said more than 21,000 Nevada veterans have taken advantage of the free legal services.

“There is a tremendous need that is growing among Nevada veterans for these legal services,” she said. “Our plan is to provide free quarterly legal clinics with the next planned event occurring in early May,” she said.

Hamilton cited the following services that are available: wills, medical powers of attorney, consumer issues, housing issues, bankruptcy, veterans’ benefits and others. 

Sergio Espinosa, director of outreach with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office of Military Assistance, echoed the need for legal services and the relaunch after the two-year pause.

“There’s a critical need for legal assistance service for our veterans,” he said. “Legal assistance is not cheap and resources are very limited to our veterans and their families.”

Espinosa said the AG’s office has assisted thousands of families. He said veterans include anyone who has served on active duty, in the National Guard or Reserves.

To schedule an appointment for the next quarter, the VA said veterans may call 775-687-2147.