HTS: Free Legal Clinic for Veterans
Our country was built on people fighting for freedom and the freedom of generations to come. Every hour, every minute of every day, our service men and women are across the globe, putting their lives in danger for us. NewsCenter 1 would like to recognize those people and the people who advocate for them here at home.
So in this week’s edition of “Honor Their Service” we’re telling you all about a free legal clinic that is available to Veterans and their families here in the Black Hills.
HOT SPRINGS, S.D. – The Department of Veteran Affairs and the University of South Dakota School of Law are partnering up to help our Veterans with legal advice.
On Friday at the Hot Springs Veteran Hospital, Veterans were able to come down and get some free legal guidance from law students and professional lawyers. These events can help Veterans with a lot of different legal questions or concerns they may have.
Ramon Ortiz is a professor at the USD School of Law. “We provide a valuable service and we will be able to answer all their questions. We don’t provide follow-up representation but we will at least point them out to proper resources. But there’s things that we can do actually in house when they come in. If they need an estate plan for example, the will and powers of attorney, we’ll be able to do those. And there’s other issues that we may be able to provide additional representation, but certainly we’ll be able to answer many of their legal questions that they have,” said Ortiz.
Not only is this a good opportunity for Veterans to get advice, but it’s also a great learning opportunity for the students at the USD School of Law. They get to work alongside licensed lawyers to see what kind of advice and help they offer Veterans. Brianna Haugen was one of the many students from the USD School of Law program who attended this event. “The University of South Dakota School of Law loves Veterans. And we like to provide services to those that maybe can’t get it on their own. A lot of people think that we only provide military advice but we don’t. We provide advice to any Veteran and their families as well. So if your son is a Veteran, your daughter is a Veteran, your grandma is a Veteran, we don’t care. We’re just here to help,” said Haugen.
And in case you missed it, don’t worry. This is something that is held four times a year, twice in West River and twice in East River, so that they can help as many Veterans throughout our community as possible. The USD School of Law and the Department of Veteran Affairs will be holding another free legal clinic on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Veterans Health Fair Event in the Mitchell Corn Palace from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.