Veterans Day Event to Celebrate Naming of Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic

  • Congressional notice
    Congressional notice  Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA) toured the clinic Nov. 8. Wittman (2nd from R) is pictured with clinic personnel, (l to r) Krystle Waldron, J.D. Class of 2011, clinic student; Stacey-Rae Simcox, managing attorney; Leticia Y. Flores, director, Center for Psychological Services and Development, VCU; Patricia Roberts, director of clinical programs; Jeffrey T. Bozman, J.D. Class of 2012, clinic volunteer and former clinic research assistant. Senator Mark Warner (D- VA) will speak at the clinic's naming on Nov. 11.  photo by JWDonahue
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The public is invited to attend a ceremony to announce the naming of the Lewis B. Puller, Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic to be held in the lobby of William & Mary Law School on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at 1PM.

Lewis B. Puller, Jr. (1945-1994) was an attorney, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.  After graduating from the College of William & Mary in 1967, he joined the Marines. He was sent to Vietnam as a second lieutenant in 1968, where he was badly wounded when he tripped a booby-trapped Howitzer round.  Mr. Puller earned his J.D. in 1974 at William & Mary Law School. In 1991, he told the story of his life in a book titled Fortunate Son. For his writing, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for autobiography/biography

Speakers at the ceremony will include U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner. Members of the Puller family will attend, including Linda Todd "Toddy" Puller, who represents the 36th district in the Senate of Virginia. The ceremony will feature remarks by law students involved in the clinic and veterans helped by the clinic.

"Lewis B. Puller, Jr., embodied the courage and strength of our young soldiers. In his memory, the Lewis B. Puller, Jr., Veterans Benefits Clinic will be here to serve those who,  like Lewis, served our country so faithfully. We are proud to be able to honor one of our own on November 11, and to have the opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the Puller family," said Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas.

The Veterans Benefits Clinic accepted its first clients in January 2009. William & Mary law students working under the supervision of Adjunct Law Professors and former Majors in the Army's Judge Advocate General Corps Stacey-Rae Simcox and Mark D. Matthews help veterans with their claims for benefits while students and faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University's Center for Psychological Services and Development provide assessment, counseling and referrals to veterans in need of those services.

The clinic's work is made possible, in part, by the support of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and members of the William & Mary Law School Class of 1974.

Virginia Bar Association Urges Law Firms to Raise Funds for Clinic

At the Nov. 4 Veterans Legal Services Program held in Richmond at the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP, Virginia Bar Association (VBA) President Stephen D. Busch described the nation's debt to veterans. The recently created VBA Veteran's Initiative seeks to educate attorneys about veterans' legal needs and to enlist attorneys to provide assistance to veterans on a pro bono or reduced fee basis.  In addition, the Initiative is urging law firms to sponsor fundraisers to benefit William & Mary's Veterans Benefits Clinic.  Va. Lieutenant Governor William T. Bolling read a proclamation issued by Governor McDonnell inaugurating November as Veterans Legal Services Month.