To win their claim, a veteran needs to prove they have a disability, and they need to prove it came due to their time in service. This often requires a formal medical opinion from a doctor, but you also need to provide every piece of paper ever to do with that case, going back decades. That includes service records, medals awarded, in-service medical treatment records, VA hospital visits, private doctor records, copies of past decisions by the VA, and possibly even detailed disciplinary records from kindergarten just to see if your injury might be related to drinking paste.
I don't charge clients, but there'll never be enough pro bono lawyers. As for the conventional kind of lawyer, well, there are rules limiting how much they can be paid. Twenty percent on the first month's payment -- that's it. Now, it's great that vulnerable vets aren't being exploited, but an attorney who wins a two-year case will maybe see a couple hundred bucks, and that would be an unusually large payment. One attorney we partnered with had to handle over 500 appeals a year to earn a living. That means that hardly anyone is willing to work in this field of the law, and those who do can never give a single case the attention it deserves.
It's enough to turn a man to drinking. Ah, sweet Lady Paste, soother of jangled nerves.