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Touro Law Center Salutes Veterans

Touro Law Center honors American veterans for their patriotism, service and sacrifice.  Initiatives include a clinic; a Veterans Law Student Organization; an Alumni Veterans Council; and special scholarships for vets.

Revived Veterans’ and Servicemembers’ Clinic
Touro Law’s Veterans’ and Servicemembers’ Rights Clinic restarted in August, and students have hit the ground running, representing vets from the Korean War through Afghanistan in a wide range of matters, including discharge review, obtaining and correcting military records, debt relief and driver’s license renewals, and are working together with students from the Family Law Clinic on child support modification requests. The nine students in the clinic, including two US Army vets, one Iraq, one Afghanistan, have begun working with the Suffolk County Veterans Treatment Court; have drafted a brochure for deploying servicemembers explaining in plain language their rights under federal law to cancel apartment and car leases, cap mortgage and credit card interest rates and delay court proceedings. Students are also doing vets advocacy, meeting with New York State Senator Lee Zeldin to urge the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to appoint a representative to assist vets and veterans’ service agencies cut through drivers’ license renewal red tape (frequent deployments and address changes often cause license suspension and renewal problems). Students also provided legal assistance and referrals at a homeless vets “stand-down” in September at the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Northport, and the clinic begins regular monthly legal assistance workshops at the VAMC this month.

Clinic Director
A national search is under way for a full-time clinic director. Currently, Associate Dean for Administration Ken Rosenblum, a Vietnam vet and Veterans Administration-accredited attorney, has taken charge as interim director.

Clinic Grant
On Friday, October 11, at the Northport VAMC, the clinic accepted a $5,000 grant from David Goldring, the Chairman and CEO of Overseas Military Sales Corporation (OMSC) on behalf of its sales team.  The grant, facilitated by John Cooney ’08,  will be used to fund a summer fellowship to assure that the clinic will continue to address the critical needs of local veterans, servicemembers and their families during the break between academic years.  OMSC is the world's leading marketer of automobiles to the U.S. military, diplomatic, Foreign Service and international business communities outside the United States.

VeteransLaw Student Organization
At least a dozen vets are currently attending Touro Law, many with combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have formed a Veterans Law Student Organization (VLSO), whose mission is to help Touro students affected by veteran issues, establish a community of support, increase understanding of veteran issues, encourage participation in pro bono projects that address veteran issues, and to work with the clinic and the Alumni Veterans Advisory Council.  The VLSO is sponsoring a Veterans Day program, see below.

Veterans Day Program Wednesday, November 13

Alumni Veterans Council

The Alumni Veterans Council is comprised of graduates who are currently on active duty or who have served their country.  Members have been deployed in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Council members mentor current students who are veterans; assist in recruiting applicants with military backgrounds; work to assure continued funding for the Veterans’ and Servicemembers’ Rights Clinic; and serve as advisors to Law Center leadership in developing new initiatives to recruit veteran-students, and to better meet the legal needs of veterans and service members.

Veterans Scholarships
The Law Center offers applicants who have served in the U.S. military a package that includes scholarships, federal tuition and housing assistance and a reduced-rate prep course for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).  Dean Patricia Salkin said the package, which in many cases will provide the equivalent of full-tuition scholarships, “is intended recognize the dedication and sacrifice of those who have served in the military, and to help the school better address the legal needs of the veterans’ community.” Click here for details.

Photo caption:  Touro Law clinic students and veterans advocates from the Suffolk County Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) visit NY State Senator Lee Zeldin (himself a US Army Iraq veteran) to argue for proposal to cut red tape on drivers license renewals vets returning from deployment. L-R: Clinic Director Ken Rosenblum; Don Howe, Suffolk VVA Peer-to-Peer Counselor; Sen. Zeldin; Touro Law Center vets clinic students Cristina Knorr and Tesla Carrasquillo; and Ralph Sanchelli, Suffolk VVA Peer-to-Peer Counselor.

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