In 2007, Sidley established the Veterans Benefits Project as the third firmwide pro bono initiative. The Project, established in conjunction with the National Veterans Legal Services Program, provides assistance to wounded veterans seeking fair and timely benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Armed Forces. Sidley takes cases referred by law school veterans clinics, legal aid agencies, and bar associations.
Volunteer lawyers assist veterans on three types of cases: (1) claims for service-connected disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, (2) claims for medical retirement benefits from the Armed Forces, and (3) applications for Combat-Related Special Compensation from the Armed Forces. These cases can be venued either in administrative agencies or in the federal courts. Those committed to the Project share a common belief that it is important to support our nation’s troops as they return to civilian life. To date, we have served more than 100 veterans through the Project, which Chicago lawyer Emily Wexler manages.