Civil Justice - Focus on Veterans

America has a civil justice gap.
The difference between the number of people who need legal services for civil issues and the few who receive help of any kind is big and growing bigger. The civil justice gap especially affects veterans, who face all of the issues common in the general population—including family, health care, employment and housing issues—as well as

  • Disputes over veterans benefits
  • Issues related to the status of their discharge
  • Mental illness and physical issues related to their service

A publication issued by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Civil Justice for All, examines the civil justice gap and makes recommendations to increase access to legal aid, including improvements that would be especially helpful for veterans law including:

  • Expanded services and new civil justice advocates
  • New partnerships among the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the courts, medical providers, and law school clinics
  • expanded use of digital technology to connect veterans with services
  • prevention programs to combat homelessness and addiction

Read the full report with its seven overall recommendations here

Recommendations and case studies at the intersection of veterans' issues and civil justice are here.

Learn about the Making Justice Accessible initiative here

Civil Justice for All - Veterans Committee

Nan Heald (Cochair)
Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance

Martha Minow (Cochair)
300th Anniversary University Professor and former Dean, Harvard Law School


Lincoln Caplan
Senior Research Scholar, Yale Law School

Sean Clark
Director, Veterans Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Matthew Diller
Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law, Fordham School of Law

Karl Eikenberry
Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, retired

Lara Eilhardt
Attorney, VA Office of General Counsel,
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Ronald Flagg
President, Legal Services Corporation

Nancy Gertner
Senior Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

John Kroger
Vice President, Aspen Institute

Harriet Miers
Partner, Locke Lord LLP

Patrick Murphy
Distinguished Chair of Innovation, United States Military Academy at West Point; Senior Fellow, Association of the U.S. Army; Executive Chairman, WorkMerk

Daniel Nagin
Clinical Professor of Law; Vice Dean for Experiential and Clinical Education; Faculty Director, WilmerHale Legal Services Center & Veterans Legal Clinic, Harvard Law School

Patricia E. Roberts
Dean; Charles E. Cantú Distinguished Professor of Law, St. Mary’s University School of Law

Nancy Sherman
University Professor and Professor of Philosophy, Georgetown University

Bart Stichman
Executive Director, National Veterans Legal Services Program

Kayla Williams
Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program, Center for a New American Security

Michael Wishnie
William O. Douglas Clinical Professor of Law and Counselor to the Dean, Yale Law School

The report and recommendations are online.