Description of the Clinic Model
The Veterans Legal Clinic is 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 a variety of areas including federal appeals, civil litigation, education and disability, entrepreneurship, federal tax, immigration, landlord tenant, small claims, state income tax and state sales and use tax. The Veterans Clinic provides free legal services to veterans struggling to resolve disputes with for-profit education companies over the use of GI Bill funds and related loans. The Veterans Clinic also represents veterans appealing VA disability determinations and veterans seeking to change the characterization of service of their military discharge.
Who We Are
Robert F. Muth, Supervising Attorney
Robert F. Muth is the supervising attorney for the Veterans Legal Clinic. Recently, he was a litigation associate at Godes & Preis LLP, a civil litigation firm with offices in Orange and San Diego Counties. Previously, Muth was a Captain and Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Iraq and Camp Pendleton in San Diego. While deployed, he served as the Senior Defense Counsel for the Marine Corps in Iraq. Muth was named the Defense Counsel of the Year in 2008-2009 by the Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary, Western Judicial Circuit. The Evans Scholars Foundation named him 2002 National Leader of the Year. He earned his BA in 2002 from Northwestern University and JD in 2005 from Duke University School of Law.
Eric Lovell, Staff Attorney
Eric Lovell is the staff attorney for the Veterans Legal Clinic. Eric joined the clinic after working as a legal intern for the Department of Justice. He has also worked for numerous San Diego corporations including Qualcomm and Pfizer. Eric earned his JD from the University of San Diego School of Law. Prior to law school, Eric earned a B.S. in Biology and certification in Technology Program Management from UC Santa Barbara. He is licensed to practice law in the State of California.
Karen Chillo-Williams, Paralegal
Karen Chillo-Williams has worked at the USD Legal Clinics since January 2012, providing paralegal assistance to the Education and Disability Clinic and now for the Veterans and Civil Clinics. Previously she has worked in banking as a corporate trainer in areas that ranged from ethics to fair lending practices. She earned her BS in Business Administration from Webster University in 2002 and graduated from USD Paralegal program in December 2011. Karen is involved in community volunteer work including the Susan G. Komen 3-Day and STAR/PAL.
Margaret A. Dalton, Director, Legal Clinics
Professor Margaret A. Dalton is the administrative director of USD Legal Clinics, supervising attorney for the Education and Disability Clinic and affiliated faculty with the Center for Education Policy and Law. She oversees all aspects of the on-site legal training program for interns, which provides free legal services annually to more than 600 individuals. Her work in special education law and legal training has been recognized with awards from the Law Library Justice Foundation, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, State Bar of California and COMPASS Family Center. She earned her BA, magna cum laude, from Immaculate Heart College in 1971 and a JD from USD School of Law in 1994.
The Veterans Legal Clinic is also staffed by upper-level law USD law student interns.