NOVA Members Nationwide Recognized for Pro Bono Work on Behalf of Homeless Veterans

April 30, 2014

Contact: Katy Andriano, Executive Coordinator
Tel: (202) 587-5708


NOVA Members Nationwide Recognized for

Pro Bono Work on Behalf of Homeless Veterans

Washington, D.C. – The National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates, Inc. (NOVA) recognized members from across the country for their pro bono work on behalf of homeless veterans at its annual Spring Conference in Pittsburgh.  The NOVA members, representing 15 states and the District of Columbia, provided free legal services to veterans through participation in the CVA/NOVA Pro Bono Advocates Program over the past year.

They are: Judge Clarke Barnes (Ill.); Mark Bean (Wash.); Ralph Bratch (Fla.); Barbara Cook (Ohio); Kenneth Diesenhof (Mass.); Tara Goffney (N.Y.); W.T. Graham (N.Y.); William Haynes (Pa.); Colin Kemmerly (Ala.); Jeany Mark (District of Columbia); Mary Markovich (N.C.); Marcia Moellring (Mo.); Rebecca Patrick (Miss.); Andrew Rutz (Ind.); Larry Schuh (Wis.); Daniel Smith (Fla.); Ronald Sykstus (Ala.); Michael Viterna (Mich.); and Winona Zimberlin (Conn.).

Implemented in 2009 by NOVA and the Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans Advancement, the CVA/NOVA Pro Bono Advocates Program is one of the largest pro bono partnerships in the U.S.  By enlisting the help of NOVA members, the program provides much needed legal assistance to impoverished veterans, thereby enabling them the opportunity to access permanent housing.

Pro bono advocacy is considered to be any legal service or advice that promotes or defends the self-sustainability of the veteran.  NOVA participants apply their advocacy skills in a variety of ways, from providing legal assistance with claims before the Department of Veteran Affairs and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to helping a disabled veteran obtain a wheelchair or drafting a will for a veteran.

“The collaboration between two of the nation’s most recognized organizations of competent advocacy helps stem the tide of homelessness among our Veteran population, strikes out at the ravages of poverty, and provides these national heroes the life they deserve,” CVA Director and Program Manager Rick Little explained.

From August 2009 to December 31, 2013, Program partners have provided approximately 1,129 hours of pro bono legal assistance to indigent veterans.  This equates to more than $186,000 in labor-value.  In addition, Program partners have obtained nearly $929,089 in desperately needed income for veterans and their families.

Currently, more than 40 law firms participate in the program.

About NOVA

The National Organization of Veterans' Advocates is a not for profit educational membership organization incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1993.  NOVA is a national organization of attorneys and other qualified members who act as advocates for disabled veterans.  Our goal is to provide excellent representation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to veterans who have disability claims against the government resulting from their service as members of the armed forces.  Offices are at 1425 K St NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20005.  Phone: (202) 587- 5708, Fax: (202) 587- 5600, Email: