11th Annual Veterans' Legal Assistance Conference & Training
This year, more than a hundred legal service providers and other professionals convened at the University of Baltimore School of Law for the 11th Annual Veterans’ Legal Assistance Conference & Training to discuss critically important legal issues facing military veterans. The theme this year was Value to Veterans: Supporting Veteran Employment and entrepreneurship. Major General Linda L. Singh, the Adjutant General of Maryland, provided the keynote speech for the conference, sharing lessons learned from her experience leading the daily operations of Maryland’s Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Emergency Management Agency, and Defense Force.
The program also featured senior military leaders from the Department of Defense’s discharge review boards, including Robert Powers, President of the Navy Discharge Review Board; Elizabeth Hill, President of the Board for Correction of Naval Records; Colonel Edward Segura, legal advisor to the Air Force Review Board; and Patricia Kingery, legal advisor to the Army Review Boards Agency. Also featured were business experts John R. Orrick, Lee Dougherty, and Marshall Paul who shared their experiences with starting and continuing business entities, and discussed assistance to veteran entrepreneurs available through the Small Business Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Maryland State.
In addition to the programs on military discharges and entrepreneurship, the conference included training for veterans interested in serving as mentors in Baltimore City’s Veterans Treatment Court. Mentors are veterans who assist other veterans who are involved in the criminal justice system. Mentors offer assistance and support to justice-involved veterans, and help them readjust to civilian life by navigating the court, treatment, and the VA systems. Professor Hugh McClean, Director of the Bob Parsons Veterans Advocacy Clinic, and former Air Force Judge Advocate, answered questions during the mentor training. McClean’s clinic students implemented many successful initiatives with the Department of Veterans Affairs, including helping to start the first veterans treatment court in Maryland district court.
The Bob Parsons Veterans Advocacy Clinic, named for a generous alumnus of our university, allows students to provide pro bono legal services to disabled veterans under the supervision of faculty attorneys. The clinic works closely with the Bob Parsons Veterans Center within our university, which connects student-veterans to resources, including UBalt’s two military student organizations and its Yellow Ribbon Program. UBalt boasts a Military Friendly School ranking which places it among the top 20 percent of schools nationwide in delivering an outstanding experience for military students.