In a basement room at the Lincoln Veterans Affairs office last year, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law students helped veterans find peace of mind, drafting end-of-life documents that had until then remained blank.
The service proved so popular -- and necessary -- that UNL students continued to work with 10 more veterans who were placed on a waiting list.
This year, the law college is doubling the capacity of the Advanced Directive Clinic and plans to draw up wills, power of attorney and health care power of attorney documents for roughly 20 veterans.
Ryan Sullivan, who teaches at the Law College and helps direct its legal clinics, said interest in this clinic has grown among veterans and students alike.
“I think every student has expressed interest, both this year and in previous semesters as well,” Sullivan said. “We’ve found students are really inspired by working with veterans.”
The third-year law students believe it is their duty to give back to those who have given so much, he said. Plus, students who did the clinic last year gave rave reviews to their peers, which also increased interest.
“It’s a similar mindset that a lot of folks who support veterans have, and there is just a great amount of inspiration all around,” Sullivan said.
Five UNL law students will work with four veterans each at this year's clinic July 29 at the VA on 70th Street.
Veterans interested in working with the law students to draw up end-of-life papers should call the Law College's Civil Clinic at 402-472-3271 and press “0” when the recording begins.
Registration for the free clinic ends June 24.
After registering, veterans will spend one month working with students by phone and in interviews to draft documents that will be reviewed and signed in-person during the one-hour session in late July.