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.