Angela Menard ('16) left) and Lori Lewis (right) teach and supervise students such as 3L Jonathan Rich (center) through the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic. 
Our college and our community -- in Arizona and beyond -- is enriched each day by veterans. 

With so many service members returning from military duties in recent years, the need for services to veterans has grown. So has the opportunity for these veterans to embark on their next chapter of service through new careers -- some of them in the law. 

We're fortunate to count at least 18 current student-veterans among us, and a great many more veterans in our alumni ranks.
Three of our alumni veterans -- John Barwell ('10), Kris Carlson ('11), and Russell Clarke ('11) -- sparked something amazing when they urged the College of Law to found a clinic to serve veteran clients. They approached Professors Paul Bennett and Kenney Hegland, and their effort became the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic

The rest, as they say, is history.  Well, not only history, because the clinic is still going strong, providing outreach and legal representation to current and former service members along with valuable hands-on training to Arizona Law students. 

This fiscal year so far the clinic has served approximately 440 veterans or active service members and provided legal education to 20 students! ( Read 11/07/17 UA News feature on the clinic. )

Today we shine a spotlight on veteran Angela Menard ('16), a recent graduate who began her legal career in the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic, and current student-veteran Jonathan Rich ('18).

Until the footnotes,


Angela Menard ('16) Serves Veterans Through Private Practice
Recent alumna Angela Menard is a veteran of the United States Army who now tirelessly serves her fellow former service members in private practice at Menard Law, PLLC.  She is motivated by her "spirit of service and commitment to the practice of law" and works hard to advocate for people across many communities.
Angie is a native Tucsonan who returned to Arizona in 1992 after serving in combat in the Persian Gulf. She obtained her BS in Business Information Systems from the University of Phoenix in 1999 and began her studies at the UA College of Law in 2013. 

During her time in law school she worked on veterans' issues through the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic ("Vet Law Clinic") and was named a Pat Tillman Military Scholar in 2015.

Angie says that she came to law school precisely for the training she received at Arizona Law and in the Vet Law Clinic. Through the clinic she represented veterans in criminal matters, disability benefits appeals, and worked with veterans facing PTSD, substance abuse, and homelessness. 

As a result of her experiences working in the Vet Law Clinic, she decided to devote the majority of her practice to disability law. Her practice areas are Veteran Disability, Social Security Disability, and Criminal Defense. Over half of her clients are veterans.

Of her time at Arizona Law she says:
"I loved being a law student. It was a second career for me and I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life. At the College of Law I had amazing professors and extraordinary clinical opportunities that led me to an area of law that I love."
After graduating in 2016 Angie worked as a post-graduate fellow with the Vet Law Clinic for a year.  She opened her own practice on August 1 of this year in downtown Tucson, and continues to work with the Vet Law Clinic supervising students in benefits appeals cases, in Veteran Treatment Court, and teaching clinic classes.
As a student working in the clinic, Angie won her first case against Veterans Affairs on behalf of a client seeking a one-time payment from the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund for his service during World War II.  She recently won another claim involving a Vietnam veteran. Clinic director, Professor Kristine Huskey says, "Clearly, Angie is a powerhouse against the VA."
Angie notes:
"The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to help people every single day. Part of my challenge is navigating the complex VA system, and advocating for people who have incredibly difficult lives. I am very thankful for the education that I received at the College of Law, and I look forward to serving Veterans in my community."

Student Veteran Jonathan Rich ('18)
Arizona Law students (clockwise from top) Jonathan Rich, Zoey Kotzambasis, Erick Hernandez, and Kristina Rood participating in Veterans Court this fall.
Arizona Law 3L
Jonathan Rich says his time in the military taught him the importance of putting others before oneself. He sees this as great preparation for being a law student.
"... Taking the time to have lunch with a 2L to talk to them about their own interests and goals and offer some advice and encouragement, or spending a Friday evening at a veteran's support group ... are the kinds of things that might never make it onto a resume for an employer to see. But knowing that I put another person, law student, or veteran first and did something to benefit them is worth a lot more sometimes than any individual achievement or title ..." 
Jon says that being part of the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic has been the most rewarding experience during his time at Arizona Law.
"The veterans we represent in the Regional Municipal Veterans Treatment Court serve as a stark reminder to me that one bad day, one wrong move, or one bad decision might have landed me in a position that is similar to the men and women we represent, instead of this incredible experience that I'm fortunate enough to have as a law student alongside my peers."
After graduation Jon plans to move to Las Vegas in pursuit of a career in bankruptcy law:
"I've had an amazing couple of years getting to know many UA alumni who practice in Las Vegas, and all of them have been incredibly supportive and encouraging along the way."
This summer Jon clerked for Judge Scott Gan ('80) and continues to work in the bankruptcy judge's chambers this semester. The experience has reinforced his enthusiasm for bankruptcy law. He's grateful to his mentors at the court, who he says, "frequently took time out of their days to sit with me and help me gain a better understanding of the practice of bankruptcy law and also my role in the practice itself and what I might expect as I move forward," from student to practitioner. 

Arizona Law in the News
The New York Times, mentions Arizona Law as the first to accept the GRE in admissions
Slate, commentary from professor Barak Orbach
WalletHub commentary from professor Derek Bambauer

Looking ahead to Veterans' Day this Saturday I felt it was timely to celebrate the many alumni and student veterans in our law school family, and the increased focused our college has placed on veterans' legal issues for the past seven years.
We are grateful every day for the service of our veterans to our country and to our profession.



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