LSC Volunteers at Stand Down 2016
The Veterans Legal Clinic staffing the legal assistance tent at 2016 Massachusetts Stand Down in Dorchester.

The Veterans Legal Clinic — its official title in the curriculum is the Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic — is made up of three collaborative projects: the Veterans Justice Project, the Estate Planning Project, and the Safety Net Project.

Through these projects, students represent veterans and their family members in a variety of case types.  In all our case work, we strive to help veterans and their families attain the maximum degree of stability, dignity, and financial well being.  We use creative legal strategies not just to vindicate the rights of individual veterans, but to pursue systemic reforms within the institutions and programs that are designed to support the veteran community.

Enrollment in all three projects is through the Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic and Clinical Seminar.  Before the semester starts, we ask enrolled students to express their preference for one of these three project areas.  Students can also choose, however, to work across two projects if that option is attractive to them.  We fully expect to be able to honor each student’s first preference for working in a particular project.

Please click on these links for more information about each of the projects within the Clinic:

For more information about the Clinic or to ask questions, please email Clinical Professor and Clinic Director Daniel Nagin at

What Students Are Saying About Their Experiences in the Clinic

My time with the Veterans Legal Clinic has been extremely rewarding. I have learned a great deal about how the law impacts the veteran community on a daily basis, and have honed my negotiation, advocacy, and legal writing skills. But the most gratifying aspect has been the interactions I have had with my clients. Being able to learn about their lives, to hear some of their stories, and to fight for successful outcomes in their legal cases has been one of the highlights of my time here at Harvard Law School.”

“One of my most valuable experiences at Harvard Law School has been working with the Estate Planning Project in the Veterans Legal Clinic. As a student attorney, my responsibilities included preparing for client meetings, interviewing clients, drafting documents, and preparing documents for execution.”

I have had a fantastic experience working with the … Clinic …. Arguing [an appellate case in federal court] was the highlight of my experience at HLS….

Successfully representing my LSC client in an appeal “was unquestionably my most meaningful experience in law school.

“I am proud that I could transform [my client’s] life for the better and am still amazed at the life-transforming responsibility that the Veterans Law clinic places in its student attorneys.”

Preparing for the appeal hearing and then representing my client at the hearing were my “most formative and rewarding experiences at Harvard Law School.”

“From the moment I started in the Safety Net Project, I sensed LSC’s ‘do what it takes’ attitude toward client service, reflecting lawyers’ two-part role as both legal counselors and general advisors. I therefore especially appreciated this chance for guided practice in the whole spectrum of services that attorneys must know how to offer, an opportunity uniquely available in the Veterans’ Clinic and Safety Net Project.”

“[I] wanted to do legal services work during law school, learn more about litigation, and work directly with clients. The Veterans Legal Clinic was the perfect opportunity.”

I think it’s incredible [what] we actually did, as a bunch of law students, change VA policy. That’s one of the proudest things I can say I’ve done, not only in law school but in life up to this point. A bunch of 20-somethings came together and we changed policy for veterans….”

“This past [fall], I enrolled in the Estate Planning Project, with the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. My work with that clinic turned out to be one of the most valuable, and absolutely the most rewarding experience of my academic career.”

“Working on [my clinic] case was the most terrifying and rewarding thing I’ve done while at Harvard. I am so grateful to the Veterans Legal Clinic for giving me this opportunity and for providing me the training I needed to feel confident in federal court. It was truly an honor to represent the proposed class of disabled veterans, and it’s an experience I will never forget.”

“I will always remember that I am standing on the shoulder of giants — and my giants are my clients. They have taught me so much resilience, patience, and kindness that I am so humbled to learn from them.”

“Working on this case for my client … was by far the most impactful experience in my time at HLS… Through a year of working on the case, and two levels of appeal, I gained the most practical legal training of my law school experience. I got to develop legal arguments, do the research to back those arguments up, and finally put those arguments on paper through multiple rounds of brief writing that would eventually be submitted to federal court. I learned as much doctrine as I did practical lawyering skills, and I experienced as much abstract litigation strategy as I did hands-on negotiation with opposing counsel. This case was a truly all-inclusive experience.”

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We are grateful to the DAV Charitable Service Trust for its generous support of our legal services program for disabled veterans.

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