Grant helps John Marshall expand Student Veterans Resource Center

As published in Yahoo Finance 

Representatives of the Student Veterans of America and The Home Depot Foundation gather to open the new Student Veterans Resource Center space.

Representatives of the Student Veterans of America stand with those from The Home Depot Foundation at the opening of the new Student Veterans Resource Center space.

The John Marshall Law School in Chicago has expanded its resources for student veterans after receiving a grant from the Student Veterans of America (SVA) and The Home Depot Foundation.
John Marshall was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Veterans Center Initiative program, a partnership between the SVA and The Home Depot Foundation. John Marshall was the only law school of the 50 schools nationwide chosen to receive the Vet Center Initiative grant. The funds have been used to build a new space for John Marshall’s Student Veterans Resource Center, where law student veterans and active military can connect and study together.

The space is the brainchild of John Marshall SVA President Patricia Liggett, who secured the Home Depot funding to renovate. Liggett thanked John Marshall administrators and alumni for their support of the project at the opening of the new space on Nov. 11, 2015.

Jaime Martinez, former VLSC staff attorney who now serves as general counsel for the national SVA, joined in the celebration. He lauded John Marshall’s continuing efforts supporting student veterans.

They’re the leaders on campus,” he said of the students.

Former VLSC staff attorney Jaime Martinez stands with JMLS SVA President Patricia Liggett.

Former VLSC staff attorney, Jaime Martinez, stands with JMLS SVA President Patricia Liggett.

Liggett is one of those leaders, said Anthony Niedwiecki, associate dean for Academic Affairs. He praised Liggert’s work in transforming the SVRC. “One of the things I love is when students take initiative and change the school,” Niedwiecki said of Liggett. “You’re a great example of what we want students to be like.”

The Student Veterans Resource Center is just one of many opportunities John Marshall offers servicemembers. The law school is home to the Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC) and participates in the Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon GI Bill. Through the Yellow Ribbon program, John Marshall fully matches scholarship money student vets are offered.

“We are very proud of this expansion and what it represents,” VLSC Director Brian Clauss said. “At John Marshall, we understand that veterans, reservists, and active-duty servicemembers confront a different situation than our average student. By expanding the Student Veterans Resource Center, we hope to have created a space where these students can go and know they are in the company of others who can relate to this unique situation.”

2015- 2016 SVA Board (from L to R) Matthew Duquette, Jessica Vasil, Patricia Liggett and Dale Lichtenstein.

2015- 2016 SVA Board (from L to R) Matthew Duquette, Jessica Vasil, Patricia Liggett and Dale Lichtenstein.

The Center expansion continues the tradition of John Marshall students leading the charge to identify and fill the needs of veterans. Since 2007, when the VLSC was first founded by student servicemembers, the nationally recognized clinic has given students the opportunity to serve those who served, while earning degree credits. The clinic

continuously works to provide an environment where student vets can thrive. John Marshall’s admissions staff work with veterans, reservists, and active-duty servicemembers on a regular basis to provide direction through the admission process, as well as through other stages of their law school career.

Clinical students working in the VLSC established the John Marshall SVA chapter in the spring of 2012. VLSC Director Clauss, with students David Weiss, Aaron Koonce and Emily Van Dyke, noticed there wasn’t an organization at the law school that catered to students who are or have been in the military, and petitioned the school to organize the SVA chapter. The chapter has been involved with the building of the new Student Veterans Resource Center space since day one.

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