Established in 2009, the CVA/NOVA Pro Bono Advocates Program was created in response to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) initiative to end veteran homelessness and the increased demand for legal assistance from poverty-stricken veterans. The annual award is given to an outstanding NOVA member who exemplifies the pro bono spirit by providing free legal services to veterans unable to afford them.
“As a result of his participation, Bob has provided tens of thousands of dollars in benefits to homeless veterans, enabling them to access permanent housing and other vital opportunities that lead to an independent life,” CVA Director and Program Manager Rick Little stated. “Bob exhibits an unparalleled enthusiasm, grit, and genuine advocacy spirit – indicative of a NOVA member.”
The CVA/NOVA Pro Bono Advocates Program is one of the largest and most successful partnerships of its kind, with 40 participant law firms nationwide. NOVA members apply their advocacy skills in a variety of ways, from providing legal assistance with claims before VA and the various courts of appeal to helping a disabled veteran obtain a wheelchair or draft a will. The end game is for underprivileged veterans to become self-sufficient and then to sustain that independence.
Since August 2009, and at a cost of more than $500,000, Program partners have provided more than 3,000 hours of pro bono legal assistance to indigent veterans and their families. Access to pro bono legal services has allowed veterans and their families to obtain nearly $1 million in needed financial support.
Mr. Goss is the founder of the Law Office of Robert B. Goss, P.C. in Houston. In 2015, he was named the top lawyer in the field of veterans’ law by Houstonia magazine for the third year in a row. A disabled veteran himself, Mr. Goss served almost 21 years as an active-duty United States Air Force (USAF) Officer and Command Pilot. In fact, all of the veterans that Mr. Goss employs at his law office are disabled veterans, providing them with both a legal and personal perspective on VA law.
In his last USAF assignment, Mr. Goss worked for five years at the Headquarters United States Air Force, Doctrine Center, where he supervised the writing of the USAF leadership and command doctrine and led other high-level programs. He also served for three years at the premiere Air Command and Staff College, culminating as an operations officer for 80 international officers from 59 different countries.
Mr. Goss is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he completed both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering. He received his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University and graduated from the University of Houston Law Center with two Masters of Law degrees.
He currently serves on the NOVA Board of Directors and the NOVA ethics, outreach, and seminar committees. Licensed in Alabama and Texas, Mr. Goss is also a member of several professional associations, including the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, and the Military and Veterans Law section of the State Bar of Texas (SBOT). He was the driving force for the SBOT adding veterans as a section. Mr. Goss holds numerous military decorations and professional licenses.