COLUMBIA, S.C. - Officials are starting an effort to offer legal aid to veterans in South Carolina.

The Lawyers 4 Vets program is holding a gala opening Monday at the VA Medical Center in Columbia. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal and Attorney General Alan Wilson are among officials expected for the event.

The pro-bono program is a joint effort by the Appleseed Legal Justice Center and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Law Firm. Attorneys will assist low-income veterans with obtaining identification papers, child support and visitation issues, obtaining pardons or clearing legal records, simple wills and powers of attorney, among other matters.

The clinic officially starts May 15 at the VA Medical Center in Columbia. Veterans may make appointments from 9 a.m. to noon on the third Thursday of every month.