May/June 2014

Operation Legal Help Ohio: Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Project

Attorneys & Professionals

Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office who prior to joining Vorys served as justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio for 16 years, co-authored an article titled “Operation Legal Help Ohio: Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Project” for the May/June 2014 edition of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Ohio Lawyer magazine.   The article outlined the mission of the Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Project, its history and the organization’s goals for 2014. 

The article states:

“United States veterans are unemployed at a rate over three times the rest of the population. Further, they are having trouble using their military-acquired skills as they search for employment, and therefore often face difficulty in hiring lawyers when faced with legal problems.

In addition to veterans treatment courts and the Ohio ‘Veterans Wrap-Around Project,’ a program that focuses on the many resources available to veterans involved in the court system, the Ohio Military/Veterans Legal Assistance Project, now called ‘Operation Legal Help Ohio,’ focuses on developing pro bono lawyers to wrap services on the civil side of the active servicemember and veteran.”

The article also states:

“OMVLAP has now entered into an exciting new partnership with the various legal aids in Ohio. Active servicemembers and veterans calling the OMVLAP toll-free number will reach the intake department of the legal aid in their areas and the intake departments of those offices will screen and triage the calls. All legal issues fitting within the identified scope of OMVLAP will be transferred to the OMVLAP call center at Capital Law School and Legal Aid will review those matters not within OMVLAP’s scope of legal coverage. Many cases will be handled by the new Veterans Legal Corps funded by OLAF and Equal Justice Works and housed at each of the legal aids around the state.

The veterans fellows will also assist with outreach—letting the military community around Ohio know of this service offered by OMVLAP and the legal aids to low-income veterans and active duty service members. This partnership will bring both expense savings in regards to Call Center costs and more lawyers. It will provide additional needed resources for our legal aids during their times of budget cuts. It will also help OMVLAP to expand statewide, its final goal. We have also rebranded ‘Operation Legal Help Ohio’ to more clearly identify what we offer.”

To read the entire article, visit the Ohio Lawyer website.