Disruption / Interruption

Disrupting Veteran Legal Aid - Antoinette Balta - Episode # 013

November 11, 2021

Our veterans are putting their lives on the line everyday to defend our country, but the fight doesn’t stop when they come home. Veterans are in need of legal aid and it can be too expensive, meaning that most have to represent themselves or not even have their legal needs met. Host of Disruption / Interruption, Karla Jo is joined by fellow disruptor Antoinette Balta, who is the Executive Director & Co-Founder of Veterans Legal Institute, to talk about how her non-profit is providing legal services to those who have given so much and need our help. 




  • The key to disruption is courage. Change is hard but it’s worth the uphill battle to make others' lives better. 
  • The cost of legal aid for veterans today is too high. It can be upwards of $400 an hour, and if they can’t afford that then the veterans will have to represent themselves.
  • The top 80% of veterans become entrepreneurs, but the bottom 20% struggle with mental health or injuries related to service and need legal help.
  • 22 veterans a day take their own life, and that’s more than veterans who lose their life in combat on a daily basis. 
  • Veterans Legal Institute wants to make sure they aren’t turning anyone away, providing what services they can to those in need.
  • While working at an emergency shelter at the national guard armory 15 years ago, Atoinette noticed that there were plenty of veterans that needed more help than others and they weren’t receiving it, and this prompted her to start the change. 

Quote of the show:


6:38 “When I'm driving onto the on ramp of the freeway and I see someone holding a sign and it says homeless veteran, can you help? It makes my blood boil because I'll usually look at the veteran and it's almost always a Vietnam era veteran. It's mind blowing. Fortunately, the OEF OIF, the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, have a lot more resources at their fingertips. There's a lot more outreach to them, but I definitely don't want to forget our brothers and sisters that served in Vietnam and even Korea.”


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