USD Law Assists Veterans in Sioux Falls and Watertown

Photo of VLEG The School of Law VLEG has served over 100 veterans this year.

VERMILLION, SD – Twenty University of South Dakota law students assisted over 60 veterans in Sioux Falls and Watertown as part of the School of Law’s Veterans Legal Education Group spring clinic.

“I can’t thank everyone enough who helped make these events a success,” said Kaleb Paulsen, a third year law student who has served in the South Dakota Army National Guard for 10 years with one deployment to Afghanistan. “From the attorneys and professors to the students to the amazing support staff--individuals like Becky Hess from the VA, Aric Kuusela from the DAV, and Beth Overmoe from the Bar Association.”

The VLEG’s mission is to provide free legal assistance to South Dakota veterans and their families. It has hosted drop-in legal clinics since its establishment five years ago. Every fall, the VLEG takes a service trip to the Black Hills and hosts a two-day clinic in Hot Springs and Rapid City.

“There is no better feeling than making a difference in the life of someone who has bravely served their country, and having the opportunity to give back,” said Paulsen, who also serves as VLEG president. “They are so thankful for the service we provide and it gives us the opportunity to experience the work we will accomplish after we graduate from law school.”

In addition to hosting its annual spring clinic in Sioux Falls, the VLEG expanded services to include the Watertown area.

“This was our first time in Watertown and we had excellent attorney backing,” said Paulsen. “I appreciate their support as we work to grow this clinic.”

In total, the VLEG served over 100 veterans this academic year.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF LAW

USD’s School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.

ABOUT USD

Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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