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Students Launch Pro Bono Initiative to Assist Veterans

Kline School of Law Veterans Association leaders

May 04, 2015

Members of the law school’s Veterans Law Association have launched a new program to help former serviceman and servicewomen address legal problems and gain access to needed services.

The Philadelphia Veterans’ Court Mentor Program will help veterans gain access to services to address legal and social issues they may encounter as they re-adapt to civilian life.

Encounters with the criminal justice system are sometimes the tip of the iceberg, said rising 3L Adam Bethke, president of the Kline School of Law Veterans Association.

“It can branch out into other problems,” Bethke said.

Students serving as mentors will be on hand at the Philadelphia’s Veteran Court, which was created in 2010 to help former members of the armed services who have been charged with misdemeanors.

The court, which convenes monthly, appoints mentors to assist veterans resolve their legal problems and circumstances that might have caused them.

Bethke, a former warrant officer with the U.S. Army , rising 3L Angus Dowton, a former paratrooper with the U.S. Army, and 3L Tyler Hereth, a former U.S. Army captain, spearheaded efforts to gain pro bono service recognition for students who volunteer their time as mentors.

They’ve already recruited other veterans among their classmates at the school and hope to engage students from other area law schools to take part.