Ensuring Access to Justice For Veterans

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Devin Winklosky is an associate at Jones Day law firm located in their Pittsburgh office, and served in the US Marine Corps for 21.5 years. Unite Us has been working with Devin and the team at Jones Day in partnership with the American Bar Association to launch the first ever community network focused on pro bono legal services for Veterans. The VetLex network is scheduled to launch on Veterans Day. 

Devin's partnership with Unite Us continues to drive our shared vision of providing  wrap-around support to our Veterans and their families. This unique network is a first for Unite Us and we are so proud to be working with Devin and the leadership team for the VetLex Network! Our interview with Devin reminds us of why our Veterans and service members made the decision to serve and that is to protect and uphold the rule of law.

Q. What are the reasons that you got into the work you're doing now? 

A. I’m an associate at the Pittsburgh office of the Jones Day law firm.  It’s a big firm with a profound dedication to pro bono work.  In our Pittsburgh office, we coordinate a Veterans Legal Clinic through the county bar association providing pro bono legal assistance to veterans.  Through our efforts, we have been able to help scores of veterans and their families who may otherwise have had no other place to go for help.

Q. Why do you love it?

A. I love it because we are having a direct impact on people’s lives – making things better in our community by ensuring access to justice for people who served this country to ensure the Rule of Law around the world.

Q. What has been the impact of what you are doing?

A. Hopefully, we have been able to improve veteran’s lives by helping them solve their legal problems, no matter how big or small.  We’ve been able to help veterans access or maintain their benefits, keep their housing, gain or retain employment, among many other things.  Through our successes, we have started to see more referrals of veterans seeking legal help, which means veterans in need know they can come to us for help when they have a problem.  Likewise, we have seen an uptick in attorneys volunteering to help, because they want to use their legal skills to assist this deserving population.

Q. What is a success story of helping another Veteran or Service Member?

A. One in particular that I recall was a disabled Vietnam veteran who could not get his driver’s license because of a judgment he had against him due to an auto accident from 30 years ago.  He simply couldn’t pay the judgement amount (with interest).  He wanted his license so he could drive his disabled daughter to social events, and school, and appointments.  In addition, he owed back taxes on his property that he could not pay and risked losing his home.  He was desperate when he came to us.  We were able to negotiate a settlement for the judgement to a significantly reduced amount that he could pay.  As a result, we were able to restore his previously suspended Pennsylvania driving privileges.  In addition, we were able to obtain a real estate tax exemption under the Pennsylvania Constitution and save his house.  He was exceptionally appreciative, and we were so glad that we could help.

Branch of Service: United States Marine Corps

Length of Service: 21.5 Years

When did you serve: 1993-2014

Where did you serve: Everywhere- VA, NC, CA, Okinawa, Kuwait, Iraq

Devin thank you for your service and your decision to continue your committment of upholding the rule of law around the world. Unite Us is excited for this new partnership and for the important service you provide!

Thank You,

From Unite Us

 

 

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