Baylor Law School’s Veterans’ Assistance Clinic Receives Grant from State Bar of Texas
- Baylor Law School Veterans' Assistance Clinics are held monthly at the Veterans One Stop Center in downtown Waco, which allow veterans faced with legal issues the opportunity to meet with both a Baylor Law student and volunteer attorney for advice.
- Baylor Lawyer John Lejeune< J.D. '02, and current law student Leda Juengerman meet with and review the documents of a veteran during Baylor Law School's Veterans' Clinic.
- Baylor Law Professor Bridget Fuselier takes notes while speaking with a veteran at Baylor Law School's Veterans' Clinic.
- Baylor Lawyer Tim Keane, J.D. '13, takes notes while speaking with a veteran at Baylor Law School's Veterans' Clinic.
Being a veteran in Central Texas means you don’t have to do it alone. Regardless of branch or rank, ‘no one is left behind.’ This sacred rule has not only been adopted by U.S. Armed Forces but by Baylor Law School students who are here to help.
WACO, Texas (July 1, 2015) — For the first time in Baylor Law School history, the State Bar of Texas has awarded a grant to support and foster the ongoing effort of the Baylor Law School Veterans’ Assistance Clinic to provide Texas military veterans free legal counsel.
With more than 19,000 veterans residing in McLennan County – adjacent to Fort Hood, the largest U.S. Army installation in the world – there is a great need to provide pro bono legal services to a well-deserving segment of the Central Texas community.
Baylor Law’s clinics are held monthly at the Veterans One Stop Center in downtown Waco. The clinics allow veterans faced with legal issues the opportunity to meet with both a Baylor Law student and volunteer attorney for advice.
“Since we started the clinic in 2012, we have seen hundreds of veterans in need of legal counsel come through the clinic,” said Bridget Fuselier, professor of law and director of Baylor Law School’s Veterans’ Assistance Clinic. “It’s a great opportunity to give back to our community.”
The $2,150 grant – awarded in May by the litigation section of the State Bar – comes in response to a request to provide technology equipment to Baylor’s Veterans’ Assistance Clinic in its effort to assist community veterans.
“Through this grant money, we will be able to purchase iPads for the program,” said Stephen Rispoli, director of student relations and pro bono programs at Baylor Law School. “We believe the law practice of the future will be heavily focused on the mastery of new technology. Our desire is to incorporate this technology to not only be more efficient, but to provide an innovative learning experience for our students.”
In most instances, brief advice is all that’s needed. However, in more complex situations, veterans may have their legal situation assessed and receive ongoing representation. In these cases, Baylor Law students will partner with local volunteer attorneys or Baylor Law faculty members.
These partnerships not only help the veterans with their legal issues but also provide more than 150 volunteer law students an opportunity to gain valuable experience working with clients while inspiring them to appreciate public service work.
“Since I’ve been working with the Veterans’ Clinic, I’ve been privileged to help many of my fellow military members with a variety of legal issues from consumer protection to family law,” said Lt. j.g. Mark Altman, a third-year Baylor Law School student and Veterans’ Clinic coordinator. “The veterans in our community have sacrificed a lot for this country, and it’s important for us to give back and help them deal with the consequences of that sacrifice.”
Baylor Law School will host its next legal clinic from 2 to 5 p.m. on Friday, July 10, at Veterans One Stop, 2220 Austin Ave., in downtown Waco.
For more information, call Veterans One Stop’s office at 254-710-7171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 D1 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big XII Conference.
ABOUT BAYLOR LAW SCHOOL
Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was the first law school in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,200 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide on a career in public service. The Law School boasts two Texas governors, many members or former members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court, members of the Texas Legislature, and many Bar leaders, including two former presidents of the American Bar Association among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S.News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as the third best in the nation. Learn more at www.baylor.edu/law.