The VAP began operation during the fall 2015 semester. The VAP pairs individual Veterans with teams of Colorado attorneys and Denver Law students. These teams work primarily on benefit disability compensation cases at the regional level and up to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Washington DC. The teams also work on discharge upgrade cases. Students earn 3 field credits plus take a 3 credit graded seminar focusing on issues related to handling these types of cases.
The VAP also assists in the Colorado Bar Association’s efforts to assist Veterans with other legal needs. The Military and Veterans Affairs Section of the CBA has monthly clinics in Denver and throughout the state in which lawyers meet with Veterans to understand their legal needs, and counsel them as appropriate, at the clinic. Much of the work at the clinics is intake and referral to the CBA, so that the CBA can then pair Veterans with lawyers who assist the Veterans in a variety of cases, e.g., housing, bankruptcy, family law issues. The VAP, through the Denver Law students and Volunteers, performs a similar service on a weekly basis to assist the CBA in their efforts.
The VAP accept students each semester, and selection is via an application process. Students interested in participating in the VAP in the Fall 2017 semester should email the externship office at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment to meet with Professor Vessels.