November 07, 2017

Media Advisory – Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network launch

A news conference to discuss the launch of the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network, the first-ever statewide hotline and network of legal support services for Illinois veterans, active-duty military, National Guard, reservists and their dependents, will be 10:30 a.m., Nov. 9, in the Hiram H. Lesar Law Building Courtroom at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to attend. The speakers will be Christopher W. Behan, acting dean, SIU School of Law; Justice Lloyd Karmeier, chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, and Ron Spears, a member of the Illinois Access to Civil Justice Council and former Fourth Judicial Circuit judge. 

The law school’s Veterans Legal Assistance Program and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation have received grants to provide legal aid services as part of the state’s Armed Forces Legal Aid Network. The SIU program will focus on helping veterans with discharge upgrades and Veterans Affairs benefit appeals. Meanwhile, in addition to accepting referrals from the hotline, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation will develop a new medical legal partnership with the Marion VA Medical Center. 

The law school created an urban-rural partnership with the John Marshall Law School, which combines the two schools’ efforts to assist veterans in Illinois. The law school works to meet the needs of veterans in a 15-county region in Southern Illinois while SIU Carbondale has a longstanding commitment and history of assisting veterans, active-duty military, reservists and their dependents. 

For more information, contact Margarite Wypychowski at 773/458-8961.