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Pro Bono Training: Representing Veterans in Discharge Upgrades: Advanced Training

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Boston Bar Association - 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA


Many of the men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces are cut off from veterans’ services and benefits because they were given a less-than-honorable discharge. They may have served in combat and have suffered physical or mental wounds, but are nevertheless unable to access much-needed treatment and support from federal and state veterans agencies because of their discharge status. In many cases, the origin of their need for support—for example, service-related post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury—also contributed to the conduct that led to their less-than-honorable discharges.

This program builds on the June 2015 introductory training on representing veterans in discharge upgrade petitions. The focus will be on advanced topics in discharge upgrade practice, such as identifying procedural errors in the separation process, formulating equitable arguments based on intervening policy changes, and preparing for a hearing before a discharge review board.

Attorneys who did not attend the June 2015 introductory training are welcome to attend this advanced training. They are encouraged to watch the introductory training beforehand, which is available online. Please e-mail Katie D’Angelo at for the link and login information.

Licensed attorneys who participate in the training will be eligible to join the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership (VJPBP), established in 2015 by the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. Through the VJPBP, the Veterans Legal Clinic screens and refers veterans seeking discharge upgrades to private attorneys and then provides ongoing support and expert resources to those attorneys throughout the case. The generosity and efforts of VJPBP attorneys help to address the enormous gap in the provision of legal services to veterans and will provide much-needed advocacy to those who served the nation in uniform.

The BBA is an accredited provider in Rhode Island, New York, California, Maine, and Vermont. If you need credit in another state for attendance for one of our accredited programs, we can provide you with a certificate of attendance to fill out for your jurisdiction. Forms certifying your attendance will be provided on the day of the program.

Law students are welcome but are not eligible to take pro bono referrals from the Veterans Justice Pro Bono Partnership.


Sponsoring Section/Committee(s):


  • Scott F. Thompson
    Executive Director
    • Board for Correction of Naval Records
  • Joseph M. Masterson
    Senior Legal Advisor
    • Army Board for Correction of Military Records
  • Evan R. Seamone
    Professor, Mississippi College School of Law, Major and Senior Defense Counsel, U.S. Army Reserve
    • Swords to Plowshares
  • Dana Montalto
    Attorney & Liman Fellow, Veterans Legal Clinic
    • Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School



Katherine D'Angelo Manter


BBA Event Calendar