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Legal Assistance & Re-Entry Programs

AmeriCorps VISTA ~ Veterans Advocacy Clinic (VAC)

https://www.umt.edu/law/academics/clinics/veterans-advocacy.php

The VAC supports low-income veterans through legal representation, legal consultation, and outreach, ensuring that the systems designed to support veterans are held accountable. The VAC is an active and motivated team environment.

Questions: Dannette Fadness, BFA, BS, MPA, Montana Campus Compact, AmeriCorps Program Manager, (406) 243-5181, fadness@mtcompact.org

Or, Hillary Wandler, Professor | Director, Veterans Advocacy Clinic, Clinic Wing, Room 110, Alexander Blewett III School of Law, UM, (406) 243-6788, hillary.wandler@umontana.edu

Discrimination ~ Florin / Roebig Trial Attorneys

https://florinroebig.com/veteran-rights-discrimination/

Disabled Veteran Rights; Discrimination in the workplace, healthcare system, social setting, and legal settings; The laws protecting Veteran rights; What to do if you have experienced discrimination; Government resources & much more.

Questions: Megan Johnson, Outreach Specialist, Megan@florinroebig.com

​Job Service Re-Entry Program ~ Montana DLI

Montana’s Job Hunting Guide for Montanans with Criminal Records: https://cor.mt.gov/Portals/104/Reentry/jobhunting.pdf

If you have questions, please call the Job Service Missoula (406) 728-7060 and ask for a Workforce Consultant who specializes in job search assistance and workforce development for job seekers with a criminal record.

Justice Involved Veterans ~ NVTI Featured Article

When looking to enter into or start a new position in the job market, it is important to have a game plan. Such preparation may be even more important for veterans who have been involved in the criminal justice system, also known as Justice Involved Veterans (JIVs). https://www.nvti.org/News-and-Announcements/Featured-Articles/Assisting-Justice-Involved-Veterans-with-Interviewing-Preparation

Misdemeanor & Felony-Friendly Jobs ~ 70 Million Jobs
https://www.70millionjobs.com/
70 Million Jobs will connect you with great companies that offer second chance jobs for people with criminal records. No cost to you.
Questions:  info@70millionjobs.com

Missoula Self Help Law Center

1535 Liberty Lane, Suite 110D, Missoula, mtlsa.org

(406) 258-3428

If you are in need of assistance, or would like to provide resources for our center, please email missoulaselfhelp@gmail.com

Missoula Veterans Court & Veteran Mentor Program ~ Treatment and Mentoring (justiceforvets.org)

https://www.missoulacounty.us/government/civil-criminal-justice/district-court/veterans-treatment-court

Missoula County Courthouse, 200 W. Broadway, Missoula

Justice for Vets: https://justiceforvets.org/

*** 1/23/20 & 1/26/20 (TWO-PART TRAINING) Missoula Veterans Court Mentor Training, 1/23 at 8:30am & 1/26 at 5:30pm

****** CALL FOR MENTORS! ****** The Missoula Veterans Court is looking for Mentors to be TRUSTED FRIENDS and we need your help. Through a Federal Grant we now have the capacity to take on more participants. The Veterans Court is an alternative treatment court that serve Veterans who are struggling with mental illness, substance abuse, and are involved with the criminal justice system.

What is a Mentor in the Missoula Veterans Court?  A Mentor must be a veteran of any branch of the military.  You may have served an officer or enlisted.  You could have served one tour or have made the military your career.  Your service could have been during peacetime or during a period of armed conflict. What the Court needs is a person who is willing to spend some time helping a fellow veteran.  A mentor acts as a Trusted Friend who shares the experience of military service and understands what it is like to be in the military.

Treatment Court lasts a minimum of a year.  The mentor attends court appearances with the participant and visits with their mentee at least once a week.  Mentors are not therapists, or clinicians, but serve as a trusted friend.  They are listeners, who help their participant deal with the rigors of the treatment program, deal with issues like finding safe and secure housing securing a job and dealing with the requirements of meeting with people in the criminal justice system, VA medical programs and counselors.

There will be a two-part training program on Saturday January 23 and Tuesday the 26th for current and prospective mentors.  Training will cover an introduction to the Court system, an outline of how the Veteran Court works, panel discussions with current mentors and former participants, panels from team member that work with participant in the program and other topics related to the Court.

The first session will last from 8:30-Noon on Saturday, January 23rd and the second session will take place from 5:30-8:30 PM. on Tuesday January 26th Training will take place at the meeting room at Westside Lanes, 1615 Wyoming in Missoula.  Attendees are under no obligation to sign up as mentors after completing the training.

COVID-19 precautions will be taken during the training In-person participation is limited to 15 prospective mentors, so we recommend that you sign up soon.  We will be presenting the training on Zoom for anyone who prefers not to attend the training in person.

For more information about Veterans Court or to sign up for the training please contact Veteran Court Coordinator, Richard Reed, Richard.Reed@mt.gov or call the office at 406-258-4725.

If you have been thinking about how to help your fellow Montana service men and women, then this is the opportunity to help you fellow veterans deal with their issues and assimilate into civilian life following their military service.

Questions: Larry Anderson, Mentor - Missoula Veterans Court (406) 239-7621, lindalarry915@gmail.com

Call for Initial Intake - Veterans Court: Richard Reed, Veteran Court Coordinator (406) 258-4725, Richard.Reed@mt.gov

Montana Legal Services Association (MTLSA)

APPLY: www.MTLSA.org

Montana Law - Veterans & Military section: https://www.montanalawhelp.org/issues/veterans-and-military

MLSA is a private, non-profit law firm, that provides non-criminal legal information, advice, and representation to Montanans.  Their services help “fight scams on seniors, assist Veterans who have been denied benefits, help people escape abusive relationships, and represent families living in unsafe housing conditions”

Questions: 1-800-666-6899 (Option 5)

Stateside Legal: If you received a discharge that was other than Honorable, a discharge upgrade can help you access important VA benefits, services, and care. Or you may feel that your discharge was not fair and you want to correct it. Any veteran who has a discharge other than Honorable can apply for an upgrade. You do not need an attorney to apply for a discharge upgrade. 
Discharge Upgrades: https://statesidelegal.org/cm-discharge-upgrade-glossary#Kurta%20Memo

“Step-by-Step Guide: How to Apply for Discharge Upgrade”: https://statesidelegal.org/step-step-guide-how-apply-discharge-upgrade

Questions: Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) provides free civil legal help to eligible clients. MLSA may be able to refer you to a volunteer attorney for help with a discharge upgrade. You can apply online at mtlsa.org [mtlsa.org] or by calling our Helpline at 1-800-666-6899, Monday through Friday, 9am to 1pm.  

Montana Veterans Treatment Court Laws Revision Act

https://legiscan.com/MT/text/SB85/2019

Enacted April 1, 2019 ~ Montana’s revisions call for all detention centers to record the veteran status of all detainees if located in the same county as a VTC. This information is then sent to the local VTC, which now has legal responsibility to inform detained veterans about the program and their eligibility.

National Drug Court Resource, Policy, and Evidence-Based Practice Center ~ Justice Programs Office

https://ndcrc.org/

Strives to provide practitioners and professionals working in the drug court field with current resources and upcoming events. 

Questions: ndcrc@american.edu 

Partners for Reintegration (PFR)

 https://www.pfrmt.org/

Missoula - Coalition of local agencies, faith congregations, service providers and community volunteers, including previously incarcerated individuals, working in partnership with the Department of Corrections to help returning citizens reintegrate from incarceration back into the Missoula community.

VSN Members - Employment Services:

PFR questions: pfrmissoula@pfrmt.org

Stateside Legal

statesidelegal.org

User Guide for website: http://statesidelegal.org/userguide

FREE online information, self-help tools and referrals for Veterans, service members, their families and advocates.

Questions: statesidelegal@gmail.com

UM Law School Clinic Directory

https://www.umt.edu/law/academics/clinics/clinic-directory.php

Questions: Alexander Blewett III School of Law, University of Montana, (406) 243-4311

VA Veterans Justice Outreach

“A Guidebook for Incarcerated Veterans” (Click link and then Montana): http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/Reentry_Guides.asp

Justice and Reentry-Related Services ~ VA Veterans Justice Outreach Program: https://www.va.gov/homeless/vjo.asp

Questions - Montana: Jackie Merritt, LCSW, Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, VA Montana Health Care System - Fort Harrison, (406) 447-6021, jackie.merritt@va.gov

Veterans Advocacy Clinic ~ FREE for Low Income Veterans)

http://www.umt.edu/law/

The Veterans Advocacy Clinic at the School of Law has been partnering with the State Bar Veterans Law Section to train lawyers in the military discharge upgrade process. Interested veterans or service providers can email VeteransAdvClinic@mso.umt.edu

The Veterans Advocacy Clinic provides pro bono legal advocacy to Veterans and their families in Montana. 

VA claims for service-connected disability benefits, increased disability rating, applications for discharge upgrade, and consultation with practitioners on various legal issues for Veterans.

Questions: Hillary Wandler, Professor & Director, Alexander Blewett III School of Law, Clinic Wing, Room 110, University of Montana, 32 Campus Dr., Msla, (406) 243-6788, hillary.wandler@umontana.edu

Hillary - UM LAW Faculty:

http://www.umt.edu/law/faculty/directory/default.php?ID=3224

Schedule an Appointment:  https://calendly.com/hillary-wandler

Veterans Justice and Mental Health (VJMH) ~ Justice Programs Office at American University

https://www.american.edu/spa/jpo/

Questions: justice@american.edu