Justice for Warriors Newsletter
December 2021

As 2021 draws to a close, I am exceedingly thankful for all the support NVLSP has received as well as for the extraordinary accomplishments we have made on behalf of America’s veterans. As we work through the second year of the pandemic, we continue to be mindful of the impact COVID-19 has had on everyone and with this in mind, I am especially grateful for the steadfast efforts of all NVLSP staff, partners, and supporters that help NVLSP pursue our mission.

For the past year, NVLSP staff continued to be nimble and innovative, expanding and improving the ways we can serve those who served us. Over 2021, we held numerous virtual discharge upgrade and medical retirement clinics, released our 2020 Pro Bono Report, held online training webinars, held a virtual panel discussion, Military Veterans in the Legal Field,” and we hosted our annual benefit online, “Defending Veterans Rights Since 1981.” You can read more about our 2021 highlights and milestones below.

We also celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2021. You can check out our timeline by visiting our YouTube channel. As we have said before, in an ideal world, NVLSP should not need to exist, but NVLSP will continue for as long as there are barriers that prevent our nation’s disabled veterans and their families from getting what they need and deserve.

For this holiday season, we offer our best wishes to you and your families and a healthy 2022!

Paul Wright, Executive Director
In the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, NVLSP continued to offer the products and services we provide to service members, veterans, their families, and veteran advocates virtually.
Filed about 600 appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. NVLSP averaged over a 90% win-rate at the Court.
Over 5,000 attorneys, veterans service officers, and other advocates were trained by NVLSP Training and Publications.
Placed over 450 cases of veterans and service members with Lawyers Serving Warriors® volunteer attorneys across the country and trained nationally over 1,200 attorneys, veterans, service members, and advocates, including veterans service officers from Missouri, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Held 11 virtual Lawyers Serving Warriors® clinics reaching nearly 170 veterans and service members in 2021.
In 2020-2021, NVLSP forced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay more than $2.2 million in retroactive benefits to 96 survivors of deceased Vietnam veterans who suffered from diseases the VA conceded were the result of their exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
NVLSP announced its new Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program (Burn Pits CAP) in October 2021. This Program marks a major expansion of the free legal representation that NVLSP has provided to veterans and their survivors over the last 40 years. The Burn Pits CAP will assist veterans exposed to toxic emissions from burn pits while serving overseas by representing them on claims for disability benefits before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In October 2021, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia certified a class action brought by NVLSP and pro bono counsel Perkins Coie LLP, on behalf of Mr. Oscar D. Torres and former members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps who were wrongfully denied military disability retirement. The lawsuit challenges the Navy’s use of the “Properly Referred Policy” to deny military disability retirement to Mr. Torres and other similarly situated servicemembers. Up to 10,000 Navy and Marine Corps veterans wrongfully denied military disability retirement. 
In the VA's historic listening session in October 2021, NVLSP's Director of Litigation Renee Burbank provided oral comments on regulatory bars to benefits based on a servicemember's character of discharge. To learn more about NVLSP’s efforts to reform the character of discharge regulation, please click here
The New Jersey Reentry Corporation announced its new partnership with NVLSP to help veterans obtain an upgrade of a less than honorable discharge. NVLSP Executive Director Paul Wright was quoted on the announcement that was covered in TAPinto.net and New Jersey Business Magazine in December 2021.
NVLSP Co-Founder and Special Counsel Bart Stichman spoke to Tom Temin on Federal News Network and Phil Briggs, Host of CBS Eye on Vets Podcast to spread the news about NVLSP’s Burn Pits Claims Assistance Program. NVLSP’s Executive Director Paul Wright was also quoted in the Military.com coverage of NVLSP’s Burn Pits CAP.
NVLSP’s Director of Pro Bono Rochelle Bobroff authored an editorial, “Veterans dismissed under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell can get free help changing their discharge status,” for LGBTQNATION. Rochelle also spoke with Bloomberg Law reporter Elizabeth Olson and discussed an innovative approach adopted during the pandemic to help attorneys provide pro bono assistance through NVLSP's Lawyers Serving Warriors® pro bono program.  
On November 18, 2021, NVLSP hosted its Thirteenth Annual Benefit Event, Defending Veterans Rights Since 1981. The virtual event was an opportunity to recognize NVLSP’s 40th anniversary and to honor those who have made enormous contributions to improving the lives of our veterans and their families.

Thank you to all those who participated in the virtual event, including our Emcee Judy Woodruff, the award presenters, and the honorees: Cozen O’Connor, Microsoft Corporation, Ronald S. Flagg, Taiga Takahashi, and Barton F. Stichman.

If you were not able to attend, we invite you to view the event recording and check out our e-program.

Thank you to all our sponsors including our Diamond level Sponsors Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP and WilmerHale.
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­NVLSP continues its dedication to veteran law education by growing its webinar schedule in an effort to educate more veterans advocates on strategies for securing disability benefits for their clients. Experienced NVLSP attorneys will lead discussions on the following topics: 

NVLSP also has a comprehensive library of over 20 previously recorded webinars that are available at your convenience. For a limited time only, we are offering you 50% off on all recorded webinars!

Please use the following coupon code when checking out: wintersale

Coupon code good through: January 2, 2022. Webinars are available for 72 hours after purchase.
NVLSP's Training & Publications program also offers: in-person training, the Online Basic Training Course, the Veterans Benefits Manual, and the VA Benefit Identifier App.
NVLSP has released the 2021-2022 edition of its landmark Veterans Benefits Manual, the 30-year anniversary edition of the Manual. NVLSP created the Manual in 1991. The 2,200-page Manual is updated annually and contains essential insight and analysis from practicing lawyers at NVLSP, a group of experts at the vanguard of veterans law.
Learn more about the 2021-2022 updates to the Veterans Benefits Manual. To order your copy, please visit here
Katherine Ebbesson
Katherine Ebbesson is an Appellate Attorney who has been at NVLSP for over 3 years. In her position, she represents veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) as well as mentors volunteer attorneys for Board of Veterans’ Appeals matters on remand through NVLSP’s pro bono program Lawyers Serving Warriors®. 

Katherine’s interest in law stems from her experience working with the uninsured completing Medicaid and disability applications at a hospital. Saddened and frustrated by the disparity in healthcare access and preventative medicine, Katherine decided to attend law school with the hopes of being able to have a positive impact and be an advocate. After law school, Katherine found herself applying for a veterans benefits position at a veterans organization. While Katherine was new to veterans law, she could see how veterans disability benefits were closely tied to healthcare and advocacy.

Now at NVLSP, Katherine continues to be a consummate advocate. Katherine encourages anyone interested in active advocacy to consider veterans law and how the field touches on various aspects, including health and disability.

Above all, working with veterans is the most rewarding aspect of Katherine’s work at NVLSP. Katherine says it is not the case itself that she remembers, but the client. She enjoys talking to veterans and getting to know them through the benefits disability process. It is also rewarding to hear when a veteran gets an award that can have a significant impact on their life.

A fun fact about Katherine is that she has been involved in organic farming in New Zealand, Australia, Spain, and Ireland. Katherine stays busy at home with her toddler and enjoys the outdoors and gardening when she can. 
We hope this newsletter inspires you to become more active with NVLSP. If you want to help NVLSP do more for our veterans, here are a few suggestions.

  1. You can follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.
  2. Help us promote our free App for veterans.
  3. Tell a friend about NVLSP.

We look forward to connecting with you again soon!