Brief: The history, growth, and progress of MLPs serving Veterans

Thursday, May 30, 2019

By Joanna Theiss, Jennifer Trott, & Alanna Peterson The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership

Medical-legal partnerships are an important part of the VA’s strategy to enable Veterans to achieve health and well-being. The last decade has seen steady growth of Veteran-specific MLPs across the country, from only one in 2009 to thirty-one as of January 2019, no doubt because of the VA’s 2011 Directive that encouraged VA Medical Centers to provide space for legal services to meet Veterans where they are. This issue brief provides a look at the state of the VA MLP field – why and how legal services have grown in VA Medical Centers, where VA MLPs are operating today, and considerations for the future.

For a step-by-step guide to starting and strengthening a medical-legal partnership in a Veterans health care setting, please download our June 2019 toolkit, “VA Medical-Legal Partnership Readiness Guide: Building and Strengthening Medical-Legal Partnerships for Veterans.”