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November 20, 2018

Job Title: Military Sexual Trauma Staff Attorney

Position Type: Full Time

Background: The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is a high-impact national veterans service organization based in Washington DC. Our mission is to ensure that the government delivers to our nation’s 22 million veterans and active duty personnel the benefits to which they are entitled due to the disabilities that resulted from their military service. NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® (“LSW”) program provides free legal representation, through a nationwide pro bono network of private law firms and corporate legal departments, to disabled active duty personnel and veterans and their families. LSW has assisted more than 2,000 disabled veterans through its pro bono network.

Responsibilities: NVLSP seeks a full-time staff attorney to handle cases for veterans who are survivors of military sexual trauma (MST), i.e., sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military. Statistics from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) show that MST is reported by approximately 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 100 men who receive VA health care. Many MST survivors subsequently suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other mental conditions resulting from the MST. However, most instances of MST are not reported, and as a result, service connection claims are frequently denied. With assistance from NVLSP, veterans who obtain service connection receive monthly disability compensation for their mental conditions as well as a back award to the time when the claim was filed.

In addition, survivors of MST are more likely to receive an “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) discharge. When survivors report MST, they may be met with retaliation and hostility from their command. Survivors of MST who suffer from PTSD or other mental health conditions may not be performing at their best, due to the impact of the trauma. This could also lead to an unfavorable discharge characterization. LSW’s discharge upgrade program helps veterans apply to upgrade their characterization of service from OTH to a more favorable characterization such as Honorable. The discharge upgrade may help veterans receive VA benefits and health care, improve employment opportunities, and restore reputation and self-esteem. 

The attorney will review veterans’ medical and personnel files to determine merit for pro bono placement, write screening memos for meritorious cases, train pro bono lawyers, mentor cases placed with pro bono law firms, and conduct outreach to veterans at clinics.

Qualifications and Experience:  J.D.; excellent research and writing skills; experience with veterans law, disability law, sexual assault law, and/or military service appreciated.

Opening/Closing Date:  Available immediately; closes when filled.  NVLSP has a generous benefits program, with health and pension benefits provided.
Applications: A cover letter, resume, writing sample, and a list of three references should be e-mailed to Rochelle Bobroff, Director of Pro Bono, at rochelle@nvlsp.org.

All applications will be reviewed in confidence. 

NVLSP is an equal opportunity employer.

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