Law Student Veterans
The USF School of Law has a long history of supporting veterans in their pursuit of higher education.
From men returning from WWII to the women and men returning home today from Iraq and Afghanistan, we recognize and appreciate the contributions you have made to your country and the breadth of knowledge and experience you bring with you to the classroom. The USF School of Law offers a range of resources for law student veterans.
Student Organizations and Local Veteran’s Groups
- Veteran Law Students Association (VLSA): This is a newly formed USF student group whose goals include increasing awareness about veteran issues and facilitating strong relationships among current and future law students and alumni who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. VLSA hosts programs and events tailored to veterans and their interests and needs.
- Law Students Veterans Coalition of Northern California: USF School of Law is a member of the Law Students Veterans Coalition of Northern California, which supports the professional development of its members and facilitates collaboration among members and schools to assist the veteran community. Other member schools include GGU School of Law, Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Stanford Law School, UC Davis School of Law, and UC Hastings College of the Law. To join, contact LSVC.NorCal@gmail.com.
- Student Veterans of America: SVA provides military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation.
- American Corporate Partners: This organization connects US Veterans to business leaders through mentorships and online career advice.
VA Education Benefits and Financial Aid
The USF School of Law is dedicated to making education more accessible for our nation's veterans and their dependents. We are proud to participate in federal programs that provide tuition and fee benefits to qualified veterans who are accepted and enrolled at USF.
The Office of Financial Aid acts as a liaison between the School of Law, its students, and all the agencies involved with VA benefits. Our financial aid administrator certifies enrollment for students in a degree-seeking program.
Through my time in the service, I have espoused the ideas of hard work, determination, multi-tasking, and adaptability, which I think will serve me well in law school. USF’s financial aid office has done an excellent job coordinating my financial aid with the VA and making what could be a very complicated process, very simple.
BRITTANY WALTER '18
Serving the Veterans Community
The Justice Bus Project
USF partners with the nonprofit OneJustice on their Justice Bus Trips, taking urban law students to rural communities in California to provide needed legal services. The nature of the clinic and the locations change each trip, but in each case the students receive substantial training and works with and under the supervision of attorneys at community legal organizations.
Several Justice Bus trips have focused on providing services to veterans. Recent trips have included a collaboration with Legal Services of Northern California and the Lake County Bar Association to bring free legal assistance to veterans and others with criminal record expungement, as well as a trip held in partnership withSwords to Ploughshares and the Yurok Tribal Court to help Native American veterans apply for VA benefits in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.
Veteran Service Organizations
The following organizations offer valuable assistance to veterans and may be a resource to you and/or provide you with the opportunity to work with other veterans who could benefit from your assistance.
- Swords to Plowshares
- Operation We Are Here
- SF Veterans Resource Center
- National Association of Senior Veterans
- San Francisco VA Medical Center
- Veterans Outreach Program
- Silent Professionals
The skills and knowledge you have developed in the military will serve you well in law school and in legal practice. The Office of Career Planning can help you demonstrate your value to prospective employers as well as identify and develop additional skills valued by employers.
Selected Career Search Publications
- Networking for Veterans: A Guidebook for a Successful Military Transition into the Civilian Workforce, Michael L. Faulkner, Andrea Nierenberg, Michael Abrams
- Careers in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, Professor James T. O'Reilly
- The Official Guide to Legal Specialties, Lisa Abrams
Contact the Office of Career Planning
We encourage veterans interested in pursuing a legal career to take advantage of all of the resources offered at USF. Make an appointment with a career counselor to find out more about how you can get the job you want. Review our online resources, email us, or speak with us at (415) 422-6757 or at our offices located in Kendrick Hall 230.
Judge Advocate General (JAG)
USF has a proud tradition of alumni serving in JAG. The benefits of working in JAG are extensive. A career in JAG can offer meaningful work in public service, a lot of responsibility and independence early on, a competitive salary with comprehensive benefits, post-graduate opportunities (such as earning your LLM), free continuing legal education, loan repayment programs, and the opportunity to travel.
The Office of Career Planning hosts and facilitates JAG Field Screening Officers and Staff Judge Advocates who interview USF students for internships. For all services, you must be a U.S. citizen, a graduate of an ABA-accredited law school, a member of the state bar, and “medically qualified.” In addition, each branch maintains separate eligibility requirements. We recommend researching the requirements for each program you are considering. Connect with our Office of Career Planning for a list of contacts in each branch.