Baylor Law is always immensely proud of our veterans and service members throughout the year, but on this Veterans Day, we publicly honor our military students and celebrate those who have dedicated their time and talents to protect and defend our Constitutional Republic and freedom across the globe.
Baylor Law currently has 17 active, reserve, and veteran members of four different branches of the U.S. and Texas militaries. Five of our students are studying with us using the military’s Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP). FLEP is a highly competitive program that is generally limited to only 25 service members each year in the entire country.
Justin Bontrager • Captain • Army • Veteran
Andrew Boone • Sergeant • Marines • Veteran
Michael Brunger • Specialist • Army • Veteran
Kimberly Clark • FLEP • Captain • Army • Active
Kevin Delgado • Senior Airman • Air Force • Veteran
Jordan Gonzales • Second Lieutenant • Army Reserve • Active
Caitlin Grieve • FLEP • Captain • Army • Active
Jacob Hadjis • Captain • Army • Veteran
Corey Lesser • FLEP • Captain • Army • Active
Andrew Oliver • Sergeant • Marines • Veteran
Ian Rolinson • First Lieutenant • Marines • Active
Havana Schmidt • Captain • Army • Veteran
Rhasean T. Stephens • FLEP • Captain • Army • Active
Mark Thomas • Captain • Army & TX Army National Guard • Veteran
Paul A. Wagdalt • FLEP • Captain • Army • Active
Two additional service members requested anonymity
"Service to the community, to the rule of law, and to each other is a persistent, recurring theme at Baylor Law," remarked Dean Brad Toben, who added, "We know that there would be no rule of law and no people to serve if it weren’t for our brave military men and women. We are grateful for their service and sacrifice."
Baylor Law Veterans Clinic: Our Veterans clinic is our largest clinic. The Clinic provides free legal services and advice to Veterans living in McLennan County and the surrounding communities, many of whom cannot afford to hire an attorney. To date, Baylor Law Veterans Clinics have assisted over 1,600 Central Texas Veterans. For more information, visit: https://www.baylor.edu/law/index.php?id=934140
Free Estate Planning for Veterans and their Spouses: For nine years, the Baylor Law Veterans Clinic has offered free estate planning for veterans and their spouses as part of our Veterans Day commemorations. At the clinics Baylor Law faculty, staff, and students work together to create five important legal documents: wills, powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, guardianship declarations, and directives to physicians. Response to this year’s Estate Planning Clinic has been overwhelming, and Baylor Law will not be accepting additional clients until 2021.
Military Law Society and V.E.T.S.: These organizations exist to support Baylor’s military members. Our Military Law Society honors those who have served and helps prepare students who are interested in becoming JAG officers. Baylor’s V.E.T.S. program (Veteran Educational and Transition Services), sponsors the Veterans Lounge, a special retreat for veterans inside the Paul L. Foster Success Center on Baylor’s Main Campus, provides a Veterans Transition Course, a mentor program, and specialized guidance on academics, career and professional development, and financial support. Students interested in joining the Military Law Society should contact Professor of Law, Bridget Fuselier, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Veterans who are interested in learning more about Baylor’s V.E.T.S. program should visit: https://www.baylor.edu/vets/.
This Veterans Day, Baylor Law students have a unique opportunity to hear from Major Craig A. McNeil (JD ’97) on his service, how to become a Judge Advocate General (“JAG”) in the military, what JAGs do, the differences between the Military Justice and the civilian justice system, and the daily life of a JAG. Major McNeil received his commission in the United States Army upon graduation from the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM where he served as Regimental Adjutant. He served in the Texas Army National Guard as an officer in the 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry in the Texas Army National Guard Headquartered in Waco. He served as a tank and scout platoon leader, Squadron adjutant, and commander of Troop A. After graduating from Baylor University School of Law, he entered active duty in the Army and served with the 1st Infantry Division in Germany. He deployed to Kosovo in 1999-2000 and returned to Germany to serve as a trial counsel (prosecutor). After September 11, 2000 - what was supposed to be his last day on active duty, he served in the Army Reserve in Dallas and practiced law with Baylor Law Alumnus Ken Shetter in Burleson. In 2003 he was recalled to active duty and served at Fort Hood for one year before deploying to Iraq with the Third Corps. While in Iraq, he served at Abu Ghraib and Baghdad as a Brigade Judge Advocate. Then-Captain McNeil received a Bronze Star Medal and a Combat Action Badge following his service in Iraq. Upon redeployment, he served in the Army Reserve and as a prosecutor in Johnson County, Texas before being recalled to active duty at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he served as deputy chief of capital prosecutions at the eighteenth Airborne Corps for two years. After leaving active duty in 2010, he worked as an assistant district attorney in Dallas County until December 2018.
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ABOUT BAYLOR LAW
Established in 1857, Baylor University School of Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools, Baylor Law is one of the leading smaller law schools in the nation, known for its rigorous, results-oriented legal training. With more than 7,600 living alumni and a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service, the Law School boasts among its notable alumni two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as among the best in the nation at No. 2, while the Law School is ranked in the Top 50 of the 2021 edition of “Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the “Best Schools for Practical Training,” and in the top 15 “Best Law School Facilities” in the country. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award’s inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu