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s e r v i n g t h o s e w h o s e r v e t h e i r c o u n t r y With more than 180,000 US troops currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans’ aairs and benefits have been hot topics in the media. However, for many veterans this is not just a headline; it’s a dicult reality of their daily lives, as they struggle to access the disability and medical benefits they have earned.
Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits associate Kenneth Hemler explains that veterans’ claims are often denied by the US Department of Veterans Aairs (VA), due to a complicated application process. In many cases, Hemler says “problems arise because the VA is overburdened right now.”
Shearman & Sterling works with several organizations that help connect veterans with trained pro bono attorneys. A few recent examples include work with the New York City Bar, Project SALUTE, the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, and the National Veterans Legal Services Program.
in this issue
Kenneth hemler and Molly stark
serving those who serve their country
first person: women in crisis
making new law, winning new trials
reexamining college financial aid the mount what’s in a name
4 6 7 8
new york city Bar In 2007, Shearman & Sterling, along with a handful of other firms, part- nered with the New York City Bar to create a program that provides free legal advice to veterans regarding their disability benefits. The program trains attorneys to volunteer at monthly clinics for low-income veterans.
Litigation associate Terence Gilroy brings a unique perspective to his participation in this program, having served in the US Army as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq before entering law school in 2003.
“I’ve dealt with this bureaucracy myself,” explains Gilroy, “and at the same time, I understand the VA has its own challenges.” Gilroy says the combination of his legal knowledge and first-hand experience in the military has given him an appreciation of what his clients go through when appealing claims denials.