Veterans Service Agency's Legal Services Resource Guide

The following list contains a sampling of national and local legal resources. The organizations listed below are by no means an exhaustive directory of legal service providers; however, in many cases they are able to provide pro bono advice and/or representation.

Monroe County Legal Assistance Center

Monroe County Legal Assistance Center has provided free civil legal services to eligible clients in Monroe County for more than 30 years. MCLAC is an affiliate of Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc. The following is a list of some of the issues MCLAC may be able to address:

Housing:

  • Evictions
  • Terminations from Rochester Public Housing, Section 8
  • Subsidized housing issues Landlord problems
  • Discrimination in renting Accommodation of disabled individuals (e.g., ramp or therapeutic animal)

Employment Rights and Rights of Persons with Criminal Records:

  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employment Clearance for Background Checks by Public Agencies
  • Certificates of Relief from Disability/ Certificates of Good Conduct
  • Public Benefits denials based on Criminal Record (“Fleeing Felon” and UIB Misconduct)
  • Employment Discrimination based on Criminal Record (Re-entry issues)

Public Benefits:

  • Denials, Sanctions, or Discontinuances of Public Assistance, Food Stamps, Medical Assistance, Child Care benefits, Non Dependent Grantee, and HEAP.
  • Denials, Sanctions or Discontinuances of Emergency Placements
  • Representation at Fair Hearings
  • The Nutrition Outreach & Education Program conducts pre-screenings & assists Food Stamp applicants in Monroe County. Call (585) 295-5624.

Seniors Legal Services Project:

Civil legal problems faced by individuals sixty years of age and older including:

  • Power of Attorney/ Advanced Care Directives
  • Healthcare issues (including Medicare and Medicaid)
  • Evictions
  • Rights of Nursing Home and Adult Home Residents
  • Social Security Overpayments
  • Public Benefits
  • Wills, Deeds
  • Debtor/Creditor

Other areas where MCLAC can help:

  • Civil legal problems faced by individuals and families caring for an individual with Cancer
  • Civil legal problems faced by individuals and families faced with HIV/AIDS
  • Civil legal problems faced by kinship care families

Office hours:

Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Contact Information:

Voice: 585-325-2520
fax: 585-325-2559

VA Veterans Justice Outreach Program

The Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Program is a newly-designed program that collaborates with the VA Homeless Program. The goal is to reach out to community justice programs to identify and work with veterans who are having problems or repeated contact with the legal system. The work of the VJO Coordinator includes outreach and collaboration with law enforcement, probation and parole departments, jails, and the court systems in each county. Click here for more information about this great resource.

Vincent Schillaci
1867 Mount Hope Ave
Rochester, NY14620

(585) 463-2600 x 32300
vincent.schillaci@va.gov

Monroe County Veterans Treatment Court

The Monroe County Veterans Treatment Court held its first session in January of 2008. It was the first court that specialized and adapted to meet the specific needs of veterans. The mission driving the Veterans Treatment Court is to successfully rehabilitate veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and providing them with the tools they need in order to lead a productive and law-abiding lifestyle. In hopes of achieving this goal, the program provides veterans suffering from substance abuse issues, alcoholism, mental health issues, and emotional disabilities with treatment, academic and vocational training, job skills, and placement services. The program provides further ancillary services to meet the distinctive needs of each individual participant, such as housing, transportation, medical, dental, and other supportive services.

Dan Debruin, Court Coordinator

(585) 371-3622
ddebruin@court.state.ny.us

Volunteer Legal Services Project (VLSP) of Monroe County, Inc.

VLSP provides free legal help to low-income residents of Monroe County, New York who are facing non-criminal legal problems. VLSP's services are provided by 1,500 pro bono volunteers who donate their time and talent to ensure that low-income people have access to the justice system when faced with serious legal problems.

Cases VLSP Handles:

  • Divorce
  • Debt Issues
  • Child Custody / Visitation
  • Employment
  • Child Support
  • Consumer Issues
  • Standby Guardianship
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Tax Issues

Other Areas Where VLSP Can Help

  • Adoption
  • Landlord-Tenant - when a landlord seizes your personal property
  • Pension
  • Real Estate, for example deed transfers, Habitat for Humanity closings, foreclosure, land contracts
  • Tort Defense - for defendants only, sued for personal injury or property damage
  • Estate administration for estates of limited value
  • Wills, powers of attorney and health care proxies for people with HIV/AIDS or terminal illnesses
  • Micro-Entrepreneur Program for low-income people starting businesses

VLSP does NOT handle: Criminal matters or fee generating cases; for example, suing for personal injury.

Volunteer Legal Services Project of Monroe County

Telesca Center for Justice
1 West Main Street, 5th Floor
Rochester, New York 14614

Phone: (585) 232-3051
Fax: (585) 232-5103

The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program provides free attorneys to veterans and their qualifying family members who have an appeal pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court). If an appellant has filed an appeal with the Court, he or she can request assistance from The Veterans Consortium. The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono is a joint program of The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, National Veterans Legal Services Program and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. It is funded by a grant administered by the Legal Services Corporation.

The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
Case Evaluation and Placement Component
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 131
Washington, DC 20004

(202) 628-8164
Toll Free: (888) 838-7727
Fax: (202) 628-8169

Outreach and Education Components
National Veterans Legal Services Program
1600 K Street, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006

(202) 265-8305, ext. 106
Fax: (202) 328-0063

Lawyers Serving Warriors

The Lawyers Serving Warriors program offers pro bono legal help to veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan facing one or more of the following:

  • administrative separation
  • a mental evaluation board
  • a physical evaluation board
  • an inappropriate discharge characterization

For more information about these and other services provided by Lawyers Serving Warriors, click here.

Lawyers Serving Warriors
PO Box 65762
Washington, DC 20035

Telephone: (202)-265-8305
Fax 202-328-0063

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VA Health Care

Have You Served in the United States Military?

Are you currently:

  • In jail or a county correctional facility

  • Detained pre-sentence or pre-trial


The Veterans Justice Outreach Program
may be able to help you.

Click here for more information