The USD Legal Clinics Veterans Clinic is pleased to announce its acceptance as a member into two esteemed veterans organizations: the San Diego Veterans Coalition and the United Veterans Council of San Diego. Membership and participation in these community organizations is part of the ongoing outreach activities coordinated by the Veterans Clinic to inform the community about the legal services provided by the clinic in addition to offering general education about Post 9/11 GI Bill educational benefits.
USD Veterans Clinic Supervising Attorney Bob Muth presented to over 100 representatives from various San Diego organizations at the San Diego Veterans Coalition (SDVC)’s September meeting, after which the membership voted to include the clinic as an SDVC member. The SDVC is one of the major veterans organizations in San Diego County, and represents a partnership of community service providers, veterans organizations, and interested professionals. In working together, they enhance the support of veterans across the region by improving communication and leadership, promoting collaboration and facilitating quality services. “The SDVC provides an important opportunity to foster collaboration among the various veterans service providers,” comments Professor Muth. “One of the goals is to ensure that the services we each provide complement those provided to the community by the other member organizations.”
In addition to receiving membership to the SDVC, the Veterans Clinic also applied and was accepted into the United Veterans Council of San Diego (UVC). The UVC was established in 1984, and is an alliance of individual veterans as well as over 200 organizations that are either Congressionally Chartered Veteran Service Organizations or providers of services and support to veterans. The UVC’s meetings focus on sharing community resources and information. “We were able to provide an in-depth presentation to approximately 90 members of the UVC,” describes Muth. “We described USD’s Initiative to Protect Student Veterans and the issues surrounding the targeting of student veterans for their GI benefits using predatory tactics. We also described the services the Veterans Clinic is providing to help address and provide relief for those that have been defrauded and/or misled.”
Both the SDVC and UVC hold regular community meetings and Professor Muth, Law Clerk Kaitlin Diamond and the clinic’s Legal Interns will rotate attending meetings to network and share resources. “In addition to collaborating and creating exposure for the clinics in the veterans community, attending these types of networking and collaborative events have an added benefit for our students in allowing them to gain skills in business development,” comments Professor Muth. “Regardless of what area of law they eventually practice, learning how to network with other professionals, avail themselves of community resources and maintain a voice in the community adds an important element to their legal education that will serve them well in their careers.”
The Veterans Clinic looks forward to the opportunity to build bridges and partnerships with other veterans organizations through these alliances. “Our membership allows us to make important contacts with other members and spread the word about our services,” states Professor Muth. “Veterans from these organizations will undoubtedly have individual members come to them with problems of this nature. We want them to feel they have a trusted resource in USD’s Legal Clinics and for them to know they can refer their members to us for free legal services.”