Thursday, November 13, 2008
Loyola Law School Launches Military Veterans Justice Project
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Loyola Law School has announced that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John V. Meigs will serve on the advisory committee overseeing a project to provide increased assistance to returning veterans.
Saluting its military veterans during its Alumni Grand Reunion last Thursday, the school said that its Military Veterans Justice Project will be a multi-pronged effort to raise scholarships specifically for veterans, and operate a pro bono legal clinic to help them navigate legal difficulties as they resume civilian lives.
Meigs said yesterday that he volunteered to join the committee because he was concerned about the lack of educational benefits that are being offered to current returning military veterans.
The former U.S. Army captain told the MetNews he attended Loyola on the GI Bill after returning from serving in Vietnam, and that he was “really appalled” to learn the “current crop of military soldiers hasn’t had that benefit.”
Although he said the program is still “in its formative stages,” Meigs said it is “something that is very much needed,” adding that he hopes the project “can be a resource for other veterans who are going through an experience we went through a generation ago.”
Meigs is expected to be joined on the committee by retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lawrence C. Waddington, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army, and former California Supreme Court Justice William P. Clark, a 1954 Loyola graduate who also served as a former member of the Army Counterintelligence Corps, Deputy Secretary of State, National Security Advisor and Secretary of the Interior.
Other current and former members of the armed services—and Loyola graduates—named to the committee include attorneys Kurt A. Schlichter of Manhattan Beach, Brian Berliner of Los Angeles, William Crosby of Irvine, William H. Ford, III of Tarzana, F. Phillip Hosp of Pasadena, Nicholas Hutchinson of Los Angeles, Thomas J. Johnston of Los Angeles, Zenon Keske of San Diego, Hal P. Mintz of San Marino, Alexander Tsao of Los Angeles, and Loyola law student Marjorie Williams.
Although Loyola students currently provide assistance to veterans pursuing claims for benefits under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the project will add a full time faculty member to teach Military Disability Law and supervise 10-12 students as they assist veterans.
The school said that the goal the project’s goal is to eventually establish an expanded clinic that could assist veterans under applicable landlord/tenant, family and consumer protection laws with the aid of a panel of pro bono attorneys.
Dean Victor Gold said that the school “has a longstanding relationship with our nation’s veterans,” and will “honor their service by making it easier for veterans to attend law school and navigate legal hurdles in keeping with our mission of social justice.”
Loyola claims to have been the law school of choice for veterans returning to school under the GI Bill after World War II to pursue higher education, and students of the era include veterans such as Lynn “Buck” Compton, a Purple Heart recipient featured in the book and television miniseries, “Band of Brothers,” who went on to become a justice of this district’s Court of Appeal.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company