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Honoring Service & Sacrifice: NVLSP Recognizes Law Firm and Attorney for Assisting Veterans

Released 11/20/14 | Tags: Supporters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 20, 2014

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WASHINGTON – The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP), a nonprofit veterans service organization held its annual benefit reception this week, themed “Honoring Service and Sacrifice.”

“I am honored to be here tonight and recognize the important work of NVLSP. We show who we are, as a nation, in how we care for those who return injured from battle,” said Jake Tapper, chief Washington correspondent and host of “The Lead” at CNN. Tapper served as the master of ceremonies for the second year in a row at the event, which raised funds to assist NVLSP’s work to help veterans, service members and their families.

The Pro Bono Partner of the Year Award was presented to Kirkland and Ellis, which donated hundreds of hours to help veterans and service members win disability benefits that they were owed. “The reward comes in having an impact on veterans,” said Michael Podberesky, a partner at Kirkland and Ellis. The firm provided more than 8,500 hours of pro bono legal assistance to veterans in the past year and Podberesky vowed that they would return with double the number of hours the following year.

The 2014 Senator Daniel Inouye Award was presented to George Parker, formerly of counsel with Bracewell & Giuliani and NVLSP board member for ten years. Parker was instrumental in helping Navajo veterans who were code talkers during World War II secure disability benefits for injuries they incurred while serving their country and the Purple Hearts that they had earned but were never presented.

The late Gordon Erspamer and Congressman Lane Evans were also recognized during the reception. Erspamer received the Outstanding Public Service Award from NVLSP at last year’s reception, and was a lifelong advocate for veterans. Evans had served in the Marine Corps and was the ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. He worked tirelessly to pass the Veterans Judicial Review Act in 1988, which created the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and established that VA benefits decisions could be subject to review by the courts.

A video displaying NVLSP’s work in 2014 was shown. The video highlighted NVLSP’s work with the American Legion to assist veterans in the aftermath of the VA crisis, its Lawyers Serving Warriors program assisting veterans and service members one-on-one, and its work in training veterans advocates and service officers.

Andy Hendry, vice chairman of Colgate-Palmolive, served as chair of the honorary committee that led fundraising efforts for this year’s reception. Hendry served in the Air Force and as an assistant judge advocate general at Mcguire Air Force Base. “I am deeply grateful to the National Veterans Legal Services Program for letting me help in my small way,” said Hendry.

Top sponsors included:
Diamond level sponsor:  Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Platinum sponsors: Colgate-Palmolive Company, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Gold sponsor: DLA Piper, Hewlett-Packard Company, Kirkland and Ellis, Latham and Watkins LLP
Silver sponsor: Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, Covington & Burling LLP, Hunton & Williams LLP, Verizon, Chris and Lydia Antoniou

This is the sixth year NVLSP has held its annual benefit reception.

ABOUT NVLSP
The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is an independent, nonprofit veterans service organization that has served active duty military personnel and veterans since 1980. NVLSP strives to ensure that our nation honors its commitment to its 22 million veterans and active duty personnel by ensuring they have the federal benefits they have earned through their service to our country. NVSLP offers training for attorneys and other advocates, connects veterans and active duty personnel with pro bono legal help when seeking disability benefits, publishes the nation's definitive guide on veteran benefits, and represents and litigates for veterans and their families before the VA, military discharge review agencies and federal courts. For more information go to www.nvlsp.org.

Media contact: Ami Neiberger-Miller, 703-887-4877 (for working news media only), ami@steppingstoneLLC.com

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