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John Marshall Law School Expanding Veterans' Clinic Offices Downtown

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A ribbon-cutting was being held downtown on Thursday for a more spacious legal clinic for military veterans.

The John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support Center is at 19 W. Jackson Blvd., in a 5,300-square-foot space in a renovated 100-year old building.

"The majority of what we do are complex VA benefit appeals; so people who were denied benefits, or denied the appropriate percentage of benefits," executive director Brian Clauss said.

The legal clinic also helps veterans who have other kinds of legal problems; such as criminal cases, housing issues, or family law concerns.

One veteran said it can be frustrating going through the maze of bureaucracy with the U.S. Veterans Administration, and that the legal center at John Marshall Law School is a big help.

Navy veteran Michael Hoffman is a law school student who volunteers at the center. He understands the frustrations many veterans have with the system.

"I went through the veterans' benefit system myself. It was very difficult, very long. I was in the state of Florida, which has got one of the larger backlogs. It took literally three years," Hoffman said.

The John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Clinic is the largest of its kind in the country.

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