With its arrival in Arlington, Amazon has established itself as a significant community partner and continued to strengthen those ties this month by making a donation to the Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (“M-VETS”) at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School. The funding will help support a third attorney position, greatly expanding M-VETS’ ability to provide legal support to the local veteran community.
In an effort to assist a greater number of veterans and to expand its scope of services, M-VETS has partnered with American Legion Post 139 to provide free legal services in the newly renovated Post headquarters housed in the Lucille and Bruce Terwilliger Place, an affordable housing complex spearheaded by the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing set to open in 2022. Not only will Terwilliger Place be home to the new Post 139 headquarters, but, of the 160 units of affordable housing, 50% will have a veterans preference, providing critical housing and resources to local veterans.
In order to staff the new M-VETS outpost co-located in the American Legion’s new headquarters, M-VETS is leading a capital campaign to hire a third staff attorney dedicated to providing walk-in legal services, direct representation in new practice areas, and supervision of law students in these matters. Amazon’s contribution will be earmarked to fund the third attorney position. With the addition of a third attorney and expansion of practice areas, M-VETS anticipates that it will be able to increase its output of pro bono services by nearly 40 percent.
“With Amazon’s generosity, we have taken a significant step in continuing our mission to fund the third staff attorney position,” M-VETS Director Timothy MacArthur said. “We are extremely grateful to Amazon for its support of our clinic operations and look forward to continuing our partnership with our new Arlington neighbor.”
MacArthur emphasized the importance of being able to expand practice areas and provide walk-in legal services at the American Legion Post 139 Headquarters. “Expanding into the areas of criminal law and employment matters will enable us to assist a greater number of veterans and service members in the community,” MacArthur said. “In addition, our ability to offer walk-in legal counseling will provide an immediate impact the local military community.”
M-VETS provides free legal representation to veterans, active-duty service members, and their families while allowing law students to gain practical legal experience under the supervision of practicing attorneys. M-VETS provides representation in a variety of matters including Virginia civil litigation matters, uncontested divorces, consumer protection matters, wills and powers of attorney, as well as assisting with matters before the VA and various administrative boards, including discharge upgrades, record corrections, military pay and entitlement matters, and VA disability benefit appeals.