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Stetson Establishes a Veterans Law Institute

Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport Campus.

The Tampa Bay area is home to a large concentration of veterans and active duty military which prompted the  Stetson University College of Law to establish a Veterans Law Institute.

Part of the institute’s mission is setting up a Veterans Advocacy Clinic to help veterans seeking government benefits as well as assist those appealing decisions denying benefits. It will also partner with other organizations, including Legal Assistance for Warriors, to provide pro bono legal services for active duty personnel and their families.

An official ribbon cutting for the Veterans Law Institute is set May 31 at noon at Stetson’s Gulfport campus, 1401 61st St. S., Gulfport, Fl.

The Honorable Bruce E. Kasold, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, is the keynote speaker. Stetson University President Wendy Libby, Interim Dean Royal Gardner, professors Michael Allen and Charles Rose, alumnus Joshua Magidson ’80, and student veterans Javier Centonzio and Jeff Harvey also are scheduled to attend the ceremony.

“Stetson’s Veterans Law Institute will be an important part of our nation’s efforts to carry out President Lincoln’s command that we all should care for those who have borne the battle,” Professor Michael Allen stated in a press release.

Allen is the institute’s director who also spearheaded an internship program for Stetson students in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

“It will be a unique institution in American law schools in its comprehensive scope,” Allen continued. “Not only will the institute provide legal services to veterans seeking the benefits to which they are entitled, it will also serve as a think tank on policy issues related to veterans.”

The institute will also develop and sponsor programs including continuing legal education programs for attorneys representing veterans, seminars for veterans and members of the military, and academic conferences focused on veterans and military issues.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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