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Vedder Thinking | News Vedder Price and Shareholder Anthony Pacheco Receive Pro Bono Award from Public Counsel Center for Veterans' Advancement

Team of attorneys dedicated significant pro bono support to veterans discharge clinic

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Vedder Price is honored to announce that the firm received the 2020 Pro Bono Award from the Center for Veterans’ Advancement (CVA) for the firm’s outstanding support of the CVA’s discharge upgrade clinic. A project of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm, the CVA provides legal representation to veterans and their families at both the local and national levels. Each year, Public Counsel’s projects celebrate their most dedicated volunteers by nominating a single attorney, law firm, corporate in-house legal department, or other professional to receive that project’s annual pro bono award. This year the nominees were announced online during Pro Bono Week, October 25-31, 2020. Los Angeles Shareholder Anthony Pacheco spearheaded Vedder Price’s pro bono project with the CVA, and accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, knowing that the pandemic and associated lockdowns could jeopardize services for many veterans, especially those who were homeless or already lacked resources, Mr. Pacheco reached out to the CVA to offer Vedder Price’s assistance.

The offer could not have come at a more fortuitous time for the CVA. Due to the restrictions on face-to-face meetings because of the pandemic, countless at-risk veterans were unable to access the organization’s legal clinics. The CVA set Anthony to work straight away assisting veterans with petitions for discharge upgrades. Many veterans are unfavorably separated from the military due to behavioral difficulties in response to trauma, and must petition for a discharge upgrade in order to be granted essential benefits. Petitions for discharge upgrades can be challenging, and they can also be a long and stressful process for the veterans.

“From the first case we handled, the CVA saw our dedication and willingness to walk in the fire for these veterans,” shared Mr. Pacheco. “It’s been truly amazing to see how our lawyers and staff have been so eager to embrace veterans, and help them find a way to get greater benefits during a time when they need them most.”

He continued, “It’s extremely personal to me to accept the award in memory of my father, a Navy veteran, as well. He received benefits from the Navy and was well cared for in veterans facilities as he got older, so it’s very meaningful to help other vets receive that same treatment. We are honored to receive this recognition but even more honored to assist such an outstanding organization.”

In addition to Mr. Pacheco, the following attorneys handled veterans discharge upgrade matters:

Douglas M. Hambleton, Thomas G. Hancuch, Jacqueline M. Helmrick, Eric R. McDonough, Michael R. Mulcahy, Michelle T. Olson, Patrick W. Spangler, Michael J. Quinn, Frances J. Choi, Tamara Droubi, Jani K, Mikel, Joshua Nichols, Austin Schulz-Amos and Daniel L. Spivey.

To support the CVA, please click here.

Find out more about National Pro Bono Week and other Pro Bono Award recipients here.


Anthony Pacheco


Thomas G. Hancuch


Jacqueline Helmrick Carlson


Eric R. McDonough


Michael R. Mulcahy

General Counsel

Michelle T. Olson


Patrick W. Spangler


Michael J. Quinn


Tamara Droubi