Call center to connect low income veterans, active military with legal services
The Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Project and Capital University Law School are partnering to make it easier for Central Ohio’s low income veterans and active military personal to get legal assistance they might not otherwise be able to afford.
The Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Call Center at Capital University Law School will open in early January as a partnership between the two organizations. The call center will provide referral information and brief legal advice and counseling when possible to low income veterans and active duty military personnel in Franklin, Delaware, Fairfield, Licking, Madison, Pickaway and Union counties.
OMVLAP was launched in June 2012 thanks to funding from the WalMart Foundation and the Ohio State Bar Foundation. It arose out of the Ohio Veterans WrapAround Project, created by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton. The launch of Capital’s call center will be made possible in part through a $25,000 grant from the William C. and Naoma W. Denison, Robert Bartels, Virginia Hall Beale and Robert B. Hurst funds of the Columbus Foundation. The grant will fund a position for a licensed attorney to staff the center on a part-time basis. That attorney will try to find an appropriate pro bono attorney to represent the caller.
Efforts to find funding for the call center began when Stratton, Judge Advocate for the Ohio National Guard Colonel Duncan D. Aukland, and OMVLAP Director Michael J. Renner presented Capital with information about the existing need among veterans and service personnel. They suggested there should be ways to assist lower income veterans and active duty service personnel, many of whom face a range of legal issues.
“These are men and women who have willingly joined America’s armed forces on our behalf, and during their service to our country they have encountered situations at home that require legal assistance,” Stratton said. “For many of these service members, this is a significant unmet need. The call center is an important step toward helping them resolve these problems.”
The call center will attempt to help OMVLAP connect financially strapped veterans and active duty service members with legal representation in areas of dispute spelled out in the Service Members Civil Relief Act, including debtor and creditor matters, domestic relations and tenant rights.
Mike Renner, Director
Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Project
David Ball, Director of Communication
Capital University Law School