Duquesne Veterans Clinic Named Among Nation’s Top 15 Most Innovative

The Duquesne University School of Law's Veterans Clinic has been named among the Top 15 most innovative clinics by preLaw magazine.

One of the leading news sources in legal education, preLaw magazine is honoring 25 law school clinics in its Winter issue, with 15 recognized as the most innovative and 10 as runners-up. To develop its list, preLaw sought nominations from law schools across the United States for clinics that were innovative in subject matter, structure or community served. It reviewed nominations from more than 75 schools. 

"We're honored and proud that our Veterans Clinic has received this important national recognition," said Law Dean Ken Gormley. "This clinic is particularly important to the law school because it goes to the heart of our mission-serving others, while training our students to devote some of their time and talent to advancing the public good."

Currently in its third year, the Veterans Clinic was one of the first of its kind in the nation. It offers assistance to veterans who are accepted into the Veterans Court of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Student attorneys are trained in a holistic approach to the law, focusing on the problem-solving philosophy and recidivism-reducing techniques.

Many of the clinic's clients suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries and other mental health disorders and addictions. The student attorneys, who are certified by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to appear in court, prepare and present cases for disposition and stay in contact with clients to ensure that the veterans are following any court-ordered treatment offered as alternatives to incarceration.

"We're grateful to Dan Kuntz, who is supervising attorney of the Veterans Clinic, and to all of the student attorneys and faculty who have devoted their energy to making this special clinic such a resounding success," added Gormley. "We are also very appreciative of the efforts of Judge John A. Zottola, who conceived of the Veterans Court, and Judge William F. Ward; together, they have developed one of the most remarkable courts in the United States. It's a privilege for our clinic to partner with them on this groundbreaking initiative."

In addition to Duquesne's Veterans Clinic, other institutions preLaw magazine named among the Top 15 are Georgetown University Law Center's Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic; the University of California, Berkeley School of Law's Death Penalty Clinic; and the Seattle University School of Law's Incarcerated Parents Advocacy Clinic. The list will also appear in the January issue of The National Jurist.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.