-- In The News --
Published: 26 May 2014
in partnership with
Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law
Veterans Legal Advocacy Center
The National Guard Association of California (NGAC) has partnered with Golden Gate University (GGU) School of Law to sponsor a Veterans Legal Advocacy Center (VLAC) to support the legal needs of the veterans’ community and to train law students to be effective advocates for veterans. Golden Gate University received the prominent 2014 Military Friendly School designation which recognized contributions that champion the academic success of service members, veterans, and spouses. GGU Law is also one of the few law schools providing 100 percent scholarships for qualifying military personnel and veterans.
With the conclusion of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly 60,000 troops are expected to return home by the end of 2014. According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, California is home to nearly 2 million veterans—more than any other state in the country. While California veterans live primarily in the state's rural areas where the cost of living is lower than it is in the San Francisco Bay Area, more than 26,000 veterans call the Bay Area home. Even those living in surrounding communities rely on services (and in particular legal services) available in the Bay Area.
By partnering with NGAC to launch the Veterans Legal Advocacy Center, GGU seeks to open the legal profession to veterans and to create programs that serve to train law students while simultaneously supporting the legal needs of veterans. The VLAC offers law students specialized courses, including a Veterans Benefits Externship that provides invaluable on‐the‐job experience where students assist veterans on matters relating to veterans benefits. Scholarships and student support organizations are also available. GGU Law has also partnered with Pearl.com, which offers pro bono legal information online in order to better provide veterans with information. Supervised by alumnus and veteran Dan Devoy (J.D. 2010), students have just begun to fill the justice gap for veterans through this program as well as the externship.
“At a time in our country when veterans struggle to get the benefits they earned through their service, it is imperative that law students, law professors and lawyers in firms and advocacy organizations of all types work vigorously to offer solutions,” says Dean Rachel Van Cleave of Golden Gate University School of Law.
GGU also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, providing grants of up to $36,000 per year for tuition and fees. The University is in the top 20 percent nationwide of colleges and universities that have committed to this program. More than 125 veterans now receiving educational benefits from the Veterans Administration are currently attending GGU undergraduate programs, and graduate programs in the School of Law, the Ageno School of Business, the Braden School of Taxation, and the School of Accounting.
The NGAC and GGU seek to open the legal profession to more of our distinguished veterans and to create and partner with others to offer programs that help train law students and attorneys to support the legal needs of veterans.