The Urban Justice Center’s Veteran Advocacy Project (VAP) seeks an advocate with two years’ experience, strong knowledge of veterans law, and a demonstrated commitment to public interest. VAP provides free legal services to low-income veterans, with a focus on those living with Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, substance abuse problems, and mental illness.
Most of our nation’s veterans make a successful transition back to civilian life, but it is not always easy. The VA’s records indicate that 22 veterans commit suicide each day. An estimated 30% of our troops come home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and countless servicemembers struggle with Traumatic Brain Injuries, depression, and substance abuse. When these veterans face legal challenges, such as eviction or an improper termination of benefits, it dramatically increases the risk that they will spiral further into illness, become homeless, or commit suicide. VAP intervenes before veterans reach the breaking point by ensuring their access to housing, health care, and income.
VAP is partnered with VA hospitals, mental health clinics, and local veterans’ groups to reach servicemembers where they are. With a dedicated team of attorneys and advocates, VAP works tirelessly to tackle their legal challenges and connect them to appropriate social services. Through these services, our project helps veterans achieve the stability needed to regain their health and rebuild their lives.
The advocate will be our campus outreach coordinator and will maintain and grow our connections with the many higher education institutions in New York City, communicating regularly with colleges’ veteran offices and student groups. The coordinator/advocate will attend service fairs, conduct intake off site, and provide presentations and trainings to various higher education affiliated groups. In addition, the advocate will focus on VA claims, ranging from overpayments to characterization of discharge appeals, and, of course, GI Bill problems. The advocate will also work collaboratively with VAP team members to assist veterans in a holistic manner.
- Strengthen our connections with the many higher education institutions in New York City;
- Communicate regularly with student veterans’ offices and student groups;
- Represent clients at the Regional Office level in Characterization of Discharge determinations, over-payments,
- GI Bill matters, and claims for VA Pension and Disability Compensation;
- Conduct intake at partner organizations’ sites;
- Provide telephone and/or written advice to clients;
- Research legal issues, with a focus on VA benefits and military discharges;
- Provide thorough referrals to connect clients with other services; work with other staff on case strategies and integration of services to meet clients’ needs;
- Track client information in our database, prepare reports for grants/funding sources, attend meetings, perform administrative tasks related to the work.
- VA accreditation;
- At least two years’ experience in veterans claims;
- Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills;
- Excellent organizational and time-management skills;
- Excellent communication skills, including the ability to work well with people living with mental illness, substance abuse problems, and traumatic brain injury;
- Ability to work independently with strong motivation and little supervision;
- Ability to manage a high client load;
- Demonstrated commitment to social justice and veterans’ issues.
This is a sixth month contract with the potential to become a permanent, union position. Salary is commensurate with experience; extremely generous benefits package.
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume with “CO Advocate” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We regret that, due to high volume, we are unable to respond to inquiries and will contact only those candidates selected for further consideration.
The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status or marital status.