UTICA,NY (WUTR)— Oneida County is partnering with Syracuse University’s College of Law to provide free legal services for Veterans.
“This legal connection that we established about a year ago,” Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picente explained, “It was kind of a pilot with Syracuse University, has really proven to be very successful… Oneida County is going to continue this over the next 3 years with a $150,000 commitment.”
Craig Boyce, Dean of Syracuse University’s College of Law said this partnership is vital to the area because of its large veteran population.
“As that number of vets coming back increases, there is an increasing need to provide these veterans with the ability to navigate that system to receive the benefits in which they are entitled,” Dean Boyce said.
As the newest of 9 law clinics at Syracuse University, the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic allows law students to experience representing a client.
“They work for free as a part of their training, and they get credit for the clinic they are involved in during the course of the semester,” Dean Boyce added.
The Veterans Clinic was co-founded by Utica native, Navy Lt.Tom Caruso, two years ago. Since then veterans have gotten over $30,000 of pay back awards and nearly $19,000 in average benefits.
Veterans in need of legal assistance can go to the Oneida County Office Building as well as the Rome Veteran’s Center once it becomes finalized.