As a result of the change in the law, some newly-trained and inexperienced advocates are promoting free, or pro bono, representation for veterans before VA. This is different from veterans advocates who represent veterans for free only in front of the Veterans Court. Like any individual seeking legal assistance, veterans need to protect themselves from incompetent or incomplete representation. Important questions to consider at the outset are whether these pro bono representatives intend to continue learning and studying VA law. Another important consideration is whether they intend to continue with the veteran’s claim until the veteran receives the highest possible rating with the earliest possible effective date. Incompetent representation or representation for an artificially short time is no gift to the veteran and can actually result in harm.