Alumni association announces award to Veterans Clinic

Duquesne Law Alumni Association announced new support for the Veterans Clinic this week during Veteran's Day events. Judge Michael E. McCarthy, L'84, a Vietnam War veteran and member of the association's board of governors, revealed the award first at a Marine Corps Three Rivers Detachment event. On Veterans Day, he discussed the funding at the Veteran's Leadership Program of Western Pa.'s annual breakfast at Duquesne University.

"Veterans at the Marine Corps detachment event stood up and applauded at news of the award to the Veterans Clinic," said the Common Pleas judge. "As a veteran myself, I am pleased to support this important program and its direct service to Veteran Court."

Duquesne Law's Veterans Clinic assists the region's veterans charged with non-violent offenses adjudicated through Veterans Court. Many of the clinic's clients suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries and other mental health disorders and addictions. The law students prepare and present cases for disposition in the Court of Common Pleas' specialty court and stay in touch with the veterans to ensure they are following court-ordered substance abuse or mental health treatment plans offered as alternatives to incarceration.

Duquesne Law's program is groundbreaking, one of the first criminal law veteran's clinics in the country. PreLaw magazine named it one of the 15 most innovative clinics in the nation in 2014, only two years after its launch.

Adjunct Professor Dan Kunz and Professor John Rago supervise the law students' work through Duquesne Law's Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education. Student attorneys are trained in a holistic approach to the law, focusing on the problem-solving philosophy and recidivism-reducing techniques.

"Everyone in the alumni association is thrilled to be directly supporting the work of the Veterans Clinic and Veterans Court" said McCarthy of the group's donation, the amount of which wasn't disclosed. The association's award will allow the clinic to fund fellowships for law students to work in the Veterans Clinic during summer months.

The Duquesne Law Alumni Association is a membership group representing the law school's 7,800 alumni. In addition to donating to the Veterans Clinic, the group annually supports four endowed funds that the group created for Duquesne Law: the Duquesne Law Alumni Endowed Scholarship; the Excellence in Legal Writing Endowed Fund; the Duquesne Law Alumni Endowed Bar Prep Fund; and the Duquesne Law Alumni Endowed Career Services Fund.

More than 700 veterans attended the Veteran's Day Breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 11 in the Duquesne Union Ballroom. The event is one of the largest gatherings of veterans in the region.

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Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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