The Veterans Clinic provides assistance to veterans accepted into the Veterans Court of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Eligible students are certified by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to appear in court.
The clinic trains law students in a holistic approach to the law focusing on the problem-solving philosophy and recidivism-reducing techniques. Many of the clients served suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries and other mental health disorders and/or addictions. The students prepare and present cases for disposition and stay in touch with the clients to ensure that the veterans are following court-ordered treatment plans offered as alternatives to incarceration.
The clinic uses a simulation, called “hearing voices training," to help students understand specific challenges faced by people with psychiatric disabilities. Students also began to visit the HOPE Pod in the Allegheny County Jail and the Veterans Service Unit located at State Correctional Institution, Pittsburgh, both of which prepare veterans to reenter the community.
Veterans Clinic in the News
Judge Zottola swears in Duquesne Law grad
Judge John Zottola personally swore in to the Pa. Bar Theo A. Collins, L'15.
Collins, a veteran himself, was an active member of Duquesne Law's Veterans Clinic. The ceremony took place in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas' specialty court, where Judge Zottola presides.
Duquesne's Veterans Clinic named among top 15 in country
PreLaw and National Jurist magazines have named Duquesne University School of Law's Veterans Clinic as one of the 15 most innovative clinics in the nation. Read the Duquesne University news release.
Pa. Senator calls on Pa. to extend veterans courts
Pa. Senator Rob Teplitz (D–Dauphin) has a bill calling for the creation of veterans courts in every county of the state. In this interview Teplitz details the benefits of the specialty courts and highlights the work of Duquesne University law students in the Allegheny County Veterans Court.
Read the WESA-90.5 FM feature