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NVLSP Raised Over $600,000 to Support Pro Bono Advocacy for Veterans & Their Families

Released 11/13/18 | Tags: Supporters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 13, 2018


WASHINGTON – The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) raised over $600,000 at its Tenth Annual Benefit Reception on November 8. Themed “Honoring Women Veterans – Leading from the Front,” the annual benefit raised resources that will enable NVLSP’s team of legal experts to assist our nation’s veterans and service members. The reception and one-hour program provided an opportunity to honor those who have made significant contributions to improving the lives of our veterans and their families.

“We are very grateful for the generosity of our volunteers and donors whose continued support made this event a great success and enables NVLSP to advance its mission to help veterans and their families obtain the benefits they have earned in service to our country,” said Bart Stichman, executive director of NVLSP.

Kayla Williams, former U.S. Army Sergeant, nationally recognized military and women veterans advocate and accomplished author of Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army and Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War emceed the program.  Nearly 300 professionals from the legal industry, government and corporate community, military leaders and members of the press attended.

The event highlighted women veterans’ contributions, women volunteer attorneys as well as the challenges women in the military face today and the work NVLSP has done to secure the benefits they deserve. Watch a video tribute to women in the military and highlighting NVLSP’s work assisting women veterans.

NVLSP recognized five honorees at the event for their dedicated service to veterans, service members and military families.
NVLSP presented the Outstanding Public Service Award to Retired Lieutenant General Flora D. Darpino. She served as the 39th Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army. She was the first female Staff Judge Advocate (4th Infantry Division 2003) to serve in Iraq during combat operations and was the female combat theater Staff Judge Advocate (U.S. Forces Iraq/ Operation New Dawn 2010/ 2011).

NVLSP honored Northrop Grumman Corporation with its Corporate Leadership Award for its exemplary leadership among U.S. corporations on behalf of veterans, service members, and military families.  Northrop Grumman Corporate Vice President and General Counsel Sheila Cheston accepted the award on behalf of the company. Northrop Grumman has utilized its outstanding corporate legal resources to provide pro bono services for veterans, becoming a staunch partner of NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® program. This past year Northrop Grumman attorneys volunteered their help in two important discharge upgrade and medical retirement clinics, working with over 50 veterans to provide advice and counsel, assisting them in applying to NVLSP for full representation, plus creating an educational fact sheet to help veterans navigate the discharge upgrade process.

NVLSP’s Pro Bono Partner of the Year Award was presented to Covington & Burling, LLP, a valued NVLSP partner for over 14 years. Covington Partner James Garland accepted the award on behalf of the firm. Covington was one of the first firms to accept pro bono cases from NVLSP, and since 2011 has been an outstanding partner in our Lawyers Serving Warriors® program. Covington has partnered with NVLSP in federal lawsuits seeking to secure compensation owed to our veterans, including a 2017 class action challenging VA Regional Office delays of more than two years in certifying thousands of appeals to the BVA.

NVLSP’s Lawyers Serving Warriors® Excellence Award was presented to Emily Wexler, Pro Bono Counsel, Sidley Austin LLP. This award honors a volunteer attorney who has provided exemplary pro bono services to veterans and service members.  For the past decade, Emily has been a skilled partner to  NVLSP’s LSW program. She has worked on numerous cases at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Board of Veterans Appeals. She has authored training materials used by pro-bono lawyers assisting NVLSP regarding federal court review of military discharge decisions and helped facilitate Sidley’s partnership with clinics for service members.

NVLSP also honored one of its own, Ronald B. Abrams, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Ron has dedicated over 40 years of his professional career to protecting the rights of veterans and ensuring that they receive the disability benefits they deserve. He served as Director of Training and Publications (1989-2004) and as Joint Executive Director (2004-2017). He trained thousands of veterans service officer and advocates, mentored dozens of attorneys in veterans law, and helped create strategies for winning hundreds of cases. Ron was also involved in strategy discussions for the Nehmer class action lawsuits. This led to the “Abrams footnote” and payment of millions of dollars in disability benefits to Vietnam veterans suffering from illnesses caused by Agent Orange exposure.

Top sponsors for this year’s benefit reception included:

Diamond level sponsor: Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP and WilmerHale LLP.
Platinum sponsors: Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Point 72, and Raytheon.
Gold sponsors: Covington & Burling LLP, DLA Piper LLP, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Latham & Watkins LLP, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Pfizer and Sidley Austin LLP.
Silver sponsors: Bank of America, Bechtel, Jamie S. Gorelick, Hewlett Packard Inc., McGuire Woods LLP, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Paul Hastings LLP, Howard Shapiro, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Verizon, and Williams & Connolly LLP.
Bronze sponsors: AECOM, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Amazon.com, Cozen O’Connor, Dechert LLP, FaegreBD, General Dynamics Corporation, GE, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Nathalie Gilfoyle, John and Corbin Harwood, Intel Corporation, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Richard Klingler, Linklaters LLP, The Morrison & Foerster Foundation, Perkins Coie LLP, Reed Smith LLP, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and Walmart Inc.
Copper Sponsors: AIG, Aramark, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Ballard Spahr LLP, Bruce M. Berman, Biogen, Benjamin Block, Buckley Sandler LLP, Crowell &Moring LLP, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Nathaniel F. Emmons, Ronald & Patricia Sharin Flagg, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Stephen Kinnaird, Holland & Knight LLP, Maryanne Lavan, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Nixon Peabody LLP, Prudential Financial, Inc., Amy Schuh, White & Case LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP.

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 benefits they have earned through their service to our country. NVLSP has represented veterans in lawsuits that compelled enforcement of the law where the VA or other military services denied benefits to veterans in violation of the law.  NVLSP’s success in these lawsuits has resulted in more than $5.2 billion dollars being awarded in disability, death and medical benefits to hundreds of thousands of veterans and their survivors. NVLSP 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.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE THROUGH DROPBOX or by emailing Patty Briotta at patty@nvlsp.org.


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