UGA School of Law opens Veterans Legal Clinic

Monday, June 18, 2018

Athens, Ga. – Beginning this month, veterans living in Georgia can receive legal assistance they may not otherwise have access to or be able to afford through the University of Georgia School of Law’s new Veterans Legal Clinic. 

Georgia has the ninth largest population of veterans in the United States, many of whom return home with service-related disabilities and therefore rely on benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to 30-plus-year public service lawyer and educator Alexander W. “Alex” Scherr, who will direct the clinic’s operations.

“Law students will work directly with veterans and their dependents to ensure access to both benefits and services, especially for those with mental or physical disabilities resulting from their time in the military,” he said.

“No veteran should be denied benefits simply because they cannot afford legal assistance. We know that the involvement of an attorney can make a tremendous difference in outcome with regard to denied or deferred claims before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” Scherr said. “Our No. 1 goal is to improve how former servicemen and women receive assistance from the nation they have served.”

The school announced it would open the Veterans Legal Clinic last year after receiving initial funding from renowned trial attorney and 1977 law school alumnus James E. “Jim” Butler Jr. in memory of his father, Lt. Cmdr. James E. Butler Sr., who was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy. Butler Sr. was also the grandfather of James E. “Jeb” Butler III, a 2008 graduate of the law school.

“We are excited about the positive impact we believe this clinic will have on those who have served our nation and their families as well as the opportunity it will provide our students to receive real world experience that will prepare them for future careers,” School of Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “We are grateful for the financial support of Jim Butler and others who have made this important new resource possible for the many veterans who call Georgia home.” 

Individuals seeking help from the clinic can call 706-542-6439 or send an email to veteranslegalclinic@uga.edu  

UGA School of Law
Established in 1859, the School of Law is consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top law schools. The school is proud of its longstanding commitment to preparing the next generation of legal leaders and ensuring a strong return on investment for its three degrees – the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law. The school’s accomplished faculty includes nationally and internationally renowned scholars, and its more than 10,000 living graduates are leading figures in law, business and public service throughout the world. Connecting students to these thought leaders and opportunities to serve state and society is central to the school’s mission. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.

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Contact: Alexander W. “Alex” Scherr, 706-542-6421, scherr@uga.edu

Note to editors: A photo of Scherr is available online at https://news.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Law-Vets-8475-1.jpg

Cutline: Alexander W. “Alex” Scherr (center), 30-plus year public service lawyer and educator who will direct the UGA School of Law’s Veterans Legal Clinic, discusses future clinic operations with law students. The Veterans Legal Clinic will provide former service men and women in Georgia with legal assistance they might not otherwise have access to or be able to afford, with particular regard to denied or deferred claims before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (Credit: UGA)