Montana Attorneys for Montana Veterans (MAMV)
Montana Attorneys For Montana Veterans (MAMV) is an opportunity to serve those who have served us. MAMV is a joint effort between The Montana Supreme Court and The University of Montana School of Law. MAMV is designed as a pro bono program to assist Montana veterans with claims for disability benefits before the Board of Veterans Affairs (BVA). Pro Bono representation allows preserving those benefits in their entirety for veterans.
To read more about representing veterans with disability claims and the great need, you can read the article authored by Prof. Hillary Wandler of The University of Montana School of Law. A New Way for Lawyers to Assist Veterans found in the June 2009 issue of The Montana Lawyer magazine.
Special provisions for representing vets before the BVA
- Application to VA General Counsel (see link above for VA Form 21a). The accreditation process can take from four to six weeks.
- Self-certification of admission information concerning practice before any other court, bar, or State or Federal agency.
- Affirmative determination of character and fitness by VA (presumed by VA based on State bar membership in good standing).
Complete 3 hours of CLE during first 12-month period following date of initial VA accreditation. Course must be approved by any state bar association, and must cover the following topics at a minimum: 1) Representation before VA, 2) Claims procedures, 3) Basic eligibility for VA benefits, 4) Right to appeal, 5) Disability compensation, 6) Dependency and indemnity compensation, and 7) Pension. Must certify in writing to Office of General Counsel upon completion.
- Notice: Attorneys must be accredited with the VA prior to completing required CLE.
- Complete additional 3 hours of qualifying CLE on veterans benefits law and procedures (not later than 3 years after initial accreditation, and every 2 years thereafter). Certify completion of post-accreditation CLE requirements in writing to Office of General Counsel upon completion.
- Annually, submit to VA information about any court, bar, or Federal or State agency to which attorney is admitted to practice or appear, and certification of good standing
To learn more about accreditation, visit the accreditation page at the VA website or visit the Accreditation FAQs website.
Obtaining necessary CLE Credits at no cost
Recorded before a live audience, the Primer on Veterans Administration Law, Practice and Procedure video program covers the basics of Veterans Administration law, practice, and procedure with extensive accompanying written materials.
This program was produced by the Paralyzed Veterans of American and Howrey LLP and distributed by the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging.
The ABA Veterans Advocacy Pro Bono Project is a joint effort of the America Bar Association Commission on Law in Aging in collaboration with ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice; ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services; ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty; ABA Standing Committee on Pro and Public Service, and ABA Senior Lawyers Division. The project was made possible in part by generous funding from the American Bar Association Enterprise Fund.
Note: The Veterans Administration accepts CLE credits approved in any state. The State Bar of Montana accepts CLE credits approved by the American Bar Association.
To Order your free copy of the DVD, click here
Note: You must receive your VA accreditation before you obtain your CLE credits. The application processing takes approximately 4 weeks. Keep this in mind when planning your CLE.
The Veterans Administration accepts CLE credits approved in any state. The State Bar of Montana accepts CLE credits approved by the American Bar Association.
Advocating for Veterans: The Basics on Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Cultural Competency: Free on-demand webinar from the Practicing Law Institute that addresses the following issues: 1) veterans are not aware of the benefits to which they are entitled; 2) injuries, both mental and physical, that are not connected to service by a proper paper trail; and 3) veterans who received less than a fully honorable discharge for behaviors that were related to PTSD or minor disciplinary infractions and the status of their discharge makes them ineligible for benefits