Veterans Law Center (VLC)

Civil Legal Services for Veterans and Their Families


About the Center

The Veterans Law Center (VLC) is a free walk-in legal clinic that serves low-income veterans and their families. Volunteer attorneys, along with paralegals and law students, provide brief legal advice, information and referrals on a variety of civil legal matters. Additionally, staff from the Dane County Veterans Service Office provides information about military benefits and other resources available to veterans.

The University of Wisconsin Law School Pro Bono Program, in collaboration with the Dane County Bar Association, the Dane County Veterans Service Office, and Porchlight, Inc. developed the Veterans Law Center in 2012. Major funding is provided by the State Bar of Wisconsin and Habush, Habush & Rottier.

Having a central resource for veterans seeking legal assistance helps alleviate the challenges faced by local veterans. Many veterans miss out on receiving quality legal information simply because they are not sure where to go for help. VLC serves as this central resource and it consistently provides accurate legal information for veterans in need.

Note: If you have concerns regarding veterans' benefits, your county Veterans' Service Office (VSO) should be your first point of contact. Every county in WI has a Veterans' Service Office. In Dane County, the VSO is located in the City-County Building (210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison, WI 53703), and can be reached at (608) 266-4158.

Veterans Advisory Board

The Veterans Advisory Board is the VLC's oversight committee. Its purpose is to offer helpful insight to the VLC on how to maintain and improve the program's operations. The Veterans Advisory Board's members are as follows:

Committee Membership
Dan Connery, Veterans Service Officer, Dane County
Jason Johns, Wisconsin Legislative Strategies
Kevin Magee, Managing Attorney, Legal Action of WI-Madison
Karen McKenzie, Former VLC Administrator and Attorney Coordinator
Steve Schooler, Director, Porchlight
David M. Stegall, Attorney and Shareholder, Lawton & Cates, S.C. 
Ed Zapala, Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, VA

Ex Officio Membership
Ben Kempinen, Faculty Advisor, UW Law School Pro Bono Program
Marsha Mansfield, Faculty Advisor, UW Law School Pro Bono Program
Laura Smythe, Director, UW Law School Pro Bono Program

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