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December 02, 2021

ABA joins with LexisNexis to offer landmark guide for veterans’ rights advocates in digital library

CHICAGO, Dec. 2, 2021 – LexisNexis Legal & Professional (LexisNexis) and the American Bar Association announced that “Military Discharge Upgrade: Legal Practice Manual,” a new desk reference for veterans’ rights advocates to use throughout the process of developing a discharge upgrade application, is now available on the LexisNexis Digital Library and Bookstore.

The landmark manual is written by attorneys from the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School’s Veterans Legal Clinic, the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center and other legal experts in the field. It will help veterans with discharges resulting from PTSD, military sexual trauma or discrimination based on race, gender and sexual orientation and correct unjust and stigmatizing discharges that prevent veterans from qualifying for health care, education and other benefits.

Drawn from the deep expertise and trial experience of leading practitioners in the field, the manual covers fact investigation, legal research and case strategy in advocating for veterans in discharge upgrade petitions to military review boards. Every stage of representation receives detailed attention, from initial client intake to administrative proceedings to federal court review. Among the topics covered are:

  • Identifying procedural errors in the military discharge process
  • Finding inequities and injustices in the discharge
  • Compiling and developing evidence
  • Crafting arguments to support the relief sought
  • Presenting a compelling narrative to the tribunal
  • Framing and preserving legal issues for review to an appellate court
  • Pursuing remedies through the Department of Veterans Affairs Character of Discharge Determination process

For the first time, the manual is being offered in eBook format and will benefit from the dynamic interface of the LexisNexis Digital Library, which offers users powerful new tools developed to integrate with user research workflows. Users of the manual will be able to sort, filter, organize and download their notes and highlights to a personalized workspace within the LexisNexis Digital Library. They will also find it easier to both resume research and work from where they last left off and to share their findings with colleagues by email attachment. In addition, users who subscribe to Lexis Advance will be able to link to all opinions cited or referenced in the manual.    

“This manual is part of the ABA’s core mission in providing access to justice, and we are excited to be able to offer it on the LexisNexis Digital Library platform,” said Donna Gollmer, director of ABA Publishing. “The powerful customized tools built into this eBook platform will enhance the value, accessibility and research efficiency of the manual for its users.”

“Our aim is always to provide the best legal content using the best technology, so we’re thrilled to offer the ‘Military Discharge Upgrade: Legal Practice Manual’ from the ABA, supporting access to justice for both veterans and their advocates,” said Anders Ganten, senior director of alliances at LexisNexis Legal & Professional.

About the authors

Margaret Kuzma is an attorney in the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, where her work focuses on complex discharge upgrade petitions.

Dana Montalto is a clinical instructor and lecture on law in the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, where her work and teaching focus on representing veterans with less-than-honorable discharges.

Betsy Gwin is associate director of the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, where she is a clinical instructor and lecturer on  law.

Daniel Nagin is a clinical professor and faculty director of the Veterans Legal Clinic and the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.

About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision making and outcomes and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis and Nexis services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 10,600 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.