The Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (M-VETS) is a four-credit course that aims to provide Mason Law students with hands-on, practical experience across a wide range of matters, supplemented by a weekly instructional period exploring topics such as legal ethics, client interviewing and counseling, negotiation and case preparation. If unfamiliar, students can expect to learn about the military history and structure of our armed forces, issues that affect their readiness, and how world events (domestic and international) impact military members professional and family lives.
Participation in the course involves the drafting of detailed weekly case status reports, thorough and accurate time sheet recordation and submission, and effective written and oral communication between student and supervising attorney on work completed and performed. Research on various topics affecting our military may also be assigned.
Students are supervised by clinic staff and private practitioners who volunteer their time and experience. To learn more about the opportunities M-VETS can provide to Scalia Law students, view the following short video to hear from Rebecca about her experiences as a student-advisor for M-VETS:
Read about former Student-Advisors experiences with M-VETS
“M-VETS allowed me to help our veterans and servicemembers while developing practical legal skills. I truly enjoyed working with our clients under the supervision of the Directors who were always there to mentor me.” David, Class of ’22
“Being an M-VETS student advisor was, without a doubt, the highlight of my law school tenure. It was a true honor and privilege to assist those who have served, and to give back in a unique and valuable way. Through M-VETS I have grown immensely, improving in the practical areas of being a lawyer, but also garnering the confidence to know that I am capable of actually doing this job, and for that I am forever grateful.” Samantha, Class of ’21
“M-VETS provides an opportunity for students willing to put in the work to be part of something special. The clinic is real-world work with real-world consequences for those active duty, veteran and dependent clients the clinic serves. M-VETS provides students the ability to learn and apply the law in a way that doctrinal classes could likely never duplicate. Any student interested in giving back to the people who keep our country free, while learning to ‘lawyer,’ should apply for M-VETS.” Todd, Class of ’19
“Being a combat veteran with a family of my own, I really appreciated the opportunity to put knowledge and skills learned in the classroom into action to help veterans from all branches of the US military and their family members. Family members are often forgotten and underappreciated. It’s great having been a part of the M-VETS law clinic, especially knowing that my fellow service members, their families, and even own family should the need arise, have a friend in the legal community they can look to for legal help when in need.” David, Class of ’19
“As a Supervisory Patent Examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, I found that M-VETS provided opportunities for students to gain practical, real-life experience that employers find desirable. Apart from acquiring more legal knowledge, M-VETS allowed students to develop general problem-solving, organization, and communication skills. Directors MacArthur and Winstead prepared students to not only meet, but exceed the professional expectations of future employers. While giving students the privilege of assisting our nation’s servicemembers, M-VETS can also improve your job prospects!” Chris, Class of ’19
“As the daughter of a veteran, working as an M-VETS student advisor has been a particularly fulfilling way for me to get comfortable working with clients while serving veterans, servicemembers, and their families. Special thanks to the M-VETS clinical professors, Timothy MacArthur and Leigh Winstead, for everything that they do for the clinic and for teaching me how to effectively advocate for clients.” Katie, Class of ’19
“I spent the first couple of years of law school not really sure what kind of law I wanted to practice, and was beginning to feel nervous about not knowing. Being in the clinic gave me a chance to work on some real cases with real people and I discovered I liked family law. Gaining experience and direction was invaluable.” Bonnie, Class of ’18
“The M-VETS Clinic not only provides the opportunity to assist those who have selflessly served, but you also get to learn valuable practical skills that will carry forward in your career. Participating in the M-VETS Clinic provides you with the experience of interacting with the public, drafting various documents from correspondence to pleadings, and even appearing before the court. These skills will translate into working for a law firm, clerkship, and beyond because it provides students with a sense of responsibility and ownership that you will not get from a law school lecture. “ Sarah, Class of ’18
“M-VETS was some of the best work I’ve ever done. I learned a lot about military/veterans issues and I was also able to learn about a variety of other matters like landlord/tenant issues and the law of fraud in Virginia. Most important, by communicating with clients and assisting with their legal issues I feel like I made an important difference in people’s lives.” Nebye, Class of ’18
“As a part-time evening student about to enter my final year, I had not yet gained any practical legal experience and was seeking meaningful exposure to professional work with the limited time left before graduation. In M-VETS I found the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of legal projects while working alongside passionate and patient attorneys providing no-cost legal assistance to a worthy and underserved group. The lecture/clinic structure of the class was unlike any other course I’ve taken, and one of my best experiences during law school.” Lindsey, Class of ’18
“Working for M-VETS was such a rewarding experience. Not only did I grow as a professional, but I got the opportunity to help those who have given us so much. I can honestly say that becoming a Student-Advisor at M-VETS was one of the best career decisions I have ever made.” CJ, Class of ’17
“As an evening student who worked full-time, M-VETS presented me with invaluable experience I would not have had otherwise. Additionally, M-VETS represented a unique opportunity for me to gain exposure to and apply a broad range of substantive law. Participating in M-VETS was one of the best decisions I made during law school and I would encourage any student who has the opportunity to do likewise.” Anne, Class of ’17
Students interested in participating as a Student-Advisor may submit our Student Advisor Application.