Situated less than 4 miles from the Pentagon, on the doorstep of the nation’s capital, and neighbor to several major military installations, George Mason prides itself on its commitment and support of those who wear or have worn a uniform in service to our nation.
Direct evidence of that commitment and support can be found in the law school’s Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (M-VETS). Founded in 2004 as the Clinic for Legal Assistance to Servicemembers and Veterans, its establishment was unique in legal education and has subsequently served as a model for the founding of other servicemember and veterans clinics at law schools across the nation.
M-VETS enables Mason law students to assist servicemembers, veterans and dependent family members in a wide variety of litigation and non-litigation matters. Since its inception, clinic students have assisted hundreds of clients from all five branches of the armed services with negotiation and litigation in consumer protection, expungements, family law (uncontested divorce, step-parent adoptions, name changes), landlord-tenant and contract matters. M-VETS services for civil matters are limited to matters located in courts in Northern Virginia. M-VETS services for administrative and military law and entitlements matters, Medical and Physical Evaluation Boards, discharge upgrade applications before Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Corrections of Military Records are not restricted by State of residence.
M-VETS also provides assistance related to the appeal of initial (partial or total) denials of VA disability compensation claims, the filing of requests for increases in ratings, and appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
To Apply for Services
Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (M-VETS) representation of active duty servicemembers, veterans and dependent family members of active duty members, is limited to 1) civil matters such as negotiation and litigation in consumer protection, family law (uncontested divorce, step-parent adoptions, and name change matters), landlord-tenant, and contract issues, ONLY in the courts of Northern Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun/Fauquier & Stafford Counties); and 2) administrative and military law and entitlement matters, Medical/Physical Evaluation Board representation, VA entitlements (other than initial claims for service connection) and service-connection or rating appeals, and discharge upgrade applications.
Typically, upon receipt of an application for legal assistance, we will review it to determine if it is a matter we may be able to provide future assistance with. You will thereafter be notified if we believe we can or cannot begin assisting you. If we believe the matter presented is a matter that we can assist you with your application will be assigned to a M-VETS student advisor to complete an initial review and assessment, typically conducted either by phone or in person with you, the applicant. If following the review and assessment, we believe this is still a matter for which we can provide representation, we will enter into an engagement agreement. If at that time, we do not feel that M-VETS can provide you with representation, we will make every attempt to refer you to another legal services provider.
You are NOT a client of M-VETS, nor do we represent you in any capacity, UNLESS AND UNTIL a letter of engagement is signed by you and countersigned by the Director.
M-VETS does NOT accept criminal or contested family law matters (this means the parties cannot agree on how to divide property or decide on the custody or visitation terms for minor children).