Friday, August 31, 2012
San Diego (August 31, 2012) – In August, the University of San Diego School of Law launched the new Veterans Legal Clinic, which will provide free legal assistance to veterans in disputes with for-profit institutions over the use of GI Bill funds and predatory lending associated with education loans.
Legal services provided by the clinic will range from advice to identification of potential claims to representation of student veterans in litigation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Robert F. “Bob” Muth has been named supervising attorney for the Veterans Legal Clinic. In this new role, Muth will oversee the clinic’s upper-division law student legal interns as they provide legal advice and represent veterans and military personnel. He will also create collaborations with local and regional military and veterans organizations,work with clinic Outreach Coordinator Patty O’Deane to coordinate community presentations, and teach and write curriculum for the clinic’s coursework.
Unlike the school’s other legal clinics, the Veterans Clinic does not have a low-income requirement and can assist people outside of San Diego County. The goal of the Veterans Clinic is both to assist individuals who have been defrauded and conduct outreach to educate veteran reservists and active duty personnel before they sign enrollment agreements.
“Often these for-profit education companies use hard-sell tactics and then present veterans with extensive enrollment agreements containing heavy legalese that no lay person would understand,” explains Muth. “One of our goals is to get information to those student veterans before they sign anything and walk them through it, so they know what they’re agreeing to before signing away their GI benefits.”
Before joining USD School of Law, Muth was a litigation associate at Godes & Preis LLP, a civil litigation firm with offices in Orange and San Diego Counties. Previously, he was a Captain and Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Iraq and at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. While deployed, he served as the Senior Defense Counsel for the Marine Corps in Iraq. Muth was named Defense Counsel of the Year in 2008-09 by the Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary, Western Judicial Circuit. He earned his BA in 2002 from Northwestern University, the same year the Evans Scholars Foundation named him 2002 National Leader of the Year. He received his JD in 2005 from Duke University School of Law.
The Veterans Clinic is the most visible aspect of the new USD Initiative to Protect Student Veterans, made possible by the financial support of a family foundation interested in veterans’ education issues. The Initiative’s multi-pronged approach includes research, advocacy and the Veterans Legal Clinic.
The new Veterans Legal Clinic is also one of 11 legal clinics at USD School of Law committed to training law students and providing free legal services to the community. Other clinics serve the needs of lower income individuals and families in San Diego in the areas of federal appeals, civil litigation, education and disability, entrepreneurship, federal tax, immigration, landlord tenant disputes, small claims, state income tax and state sales and use tax. In 2009, the Law Library Justice Foundation recognized the USD Legal Clinics with the Witkin Award for Civic Leadership and Excellence in the Teaching and Practice of Law.
Visit law.sandiego.edu/clinics for more information about all of the USD School of Law Legal Clinics including the new Veterans Legal Clinic.
About the University of San Diego School of Law
Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.
USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.