During the event, Virginia State Senator-Elect Monty Mason, who received his undergraduate degree from William & Mary in 1989, read one of two resolutions from the Virginia House of Delegates commending the Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic for its “outstanding service to the veterans who have sacrificed so much in defense of the Commonwealth and the nation.” Read the Virginia House of Delegates resolution. Read the Senate of Virginia resolution.
Professor Patricia Roberts, director of Clinical Programs and director of the Puller Clinic, presented Mason and R. Scott Herbert J.D. ’19 with clinic challenge coins. Mason, she said, was being recognized by the clinic for both his “tireless support” of its endeavors and his outstanding work on behalf of all veterans. Roberts shared with the audience that Herbert had used a hike along the Appalachian Trail during the summer before his first year of law school as an opportunity to raise money to support the clinic’s work.
Herbert, who served in the Marine Corps, gave the event's traditional toast. He reminded the audience that time in the military involves physical rigors as well as sacrifices such as missing special family occasions. Veterans like Lewis B. Puller, Jr., who are injured during their service, however, carry a reminder of the sacrifice they made for the nation “for the rest of their lives." Today, few in our society actually serve in the armed forces, he said, and those who do are often “the finest men and women this country has to offer.”
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Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.