Professor Hugh McClean, director of The Bob Parsons Veterans Advocacy Clinic, gave a presentation July 18 at the annual U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command Northeast Region JAG On-Site Legal Training Conference, held at Fort Belvoir, Va.
McClean, who served in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps from 2003 to 2014, was among several law school clinicians to address Army JAGs about their clinics’ work and about how clinicians and JAGs might work together to help active-duty military members and veterans. The conference focused on providing legal assistance to members of the military and their families.
Legal assistance encompasses a wide body of civil legal issues, including landlord-tenant, employment and family law cases, as well as military-specific matters such as discharge upgrades, veterans’ benefits and VA access-to-care issues.
The clinicians’ panel was well-received by JAGs in the audience, according to Maj. John Fitzpatrick, supervising attorney and senior clinical instructor at Harvard Law School’s Prison Legal Assistance Project.
“Your panel was still being talked about by everyone at our conference today,” Fitzpatrick said in a July 19 email to participants. “There were many JAGs in that audience who did not previously know there were clinics such as yours they could look to for referral suggestions and/or questions they may have. One young Captain intercepted me in the hotel lobby this morning to thank all of you. She is an active duty JAG with little experience in an underserved area. She has a large docket of veterans’ and service members’ legal assistance cases she was given to handle. She had been unsure about how to deal with these cases. But she was encouraged and relieved by your appearance to know there are law school clinics such as yours to which she can turn for referral or other suggestions. She seemed so happy, it was clear how very worthwhile your participation was.”