RV Showcases a Special Outreach Project

September 15, 2009

RV Showcases a Special Outreach Project A “Mobile Law Office' operated by the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will visit the main campus Thursday, September 10, to build awareness of the need for legal outreach services for some of our nation’s veterans, while at the same time demonstrating to campus students the possibilities of a legal career.

The Mobile Law Office is operated as a service project of UDM, a Catholic institution. The special recreational vehicle comes to Saint Leo at the invitation of Peter Wubbenhorst, associate professor of criminal justice and pre-law advisor to our main campus students. The vehicle will be in the center parking lot (the old tennis courts), from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wubbenhorst said he was inspired to invite the RV to campus after touring the vehicle during a pre-law advisors conference earlier this summer at Yale University. Kimberly Jones, the director of admissions, UDM School of Law, will be on campus with the RV Thursday, along with representatives of the outreach project to veterans.

Jones hopes to meet Saint Leo students interested in attending law school or pursuing legal careers. Undergraduates from all academic disciplines who possess strong research and communication skills can be fine candidates for law school, Wubbenhorst said. He added that in recent years, Saint Leo has consistently produced undergraduates accepted by law schools across the country. “We have graduates who go from New England to California.'

Thursday’s visit from the UDM Mobile Law Office will provide a vivid example of service opportunities open to civic-minded attorneys. Typically, when the Mobile Law Office travels to a community, Wubbenhorst said, attorneys from the local area willing to work on a pro-bono basis come and assist local veterans in need. The visits concentrate on helping veterans with immediate needs, such as procuring benefits they are legally due, but for some reason have been unable to attain. Although Wubbenhorst did not have time to recruit local attorneys for this first visit, he still wanted to have the Mobile Law Office come to campus this semester to pave the way for a volunteer-recruitment drive and service project/return visit in 2010.

The timing of this year’s visit, on the eve of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedy, also underscores Saint Leo University’s commitment to veterans and members of our armed forces, he said. Saint Leo is one of the nation’s foremost providers of higher education opportunities to students receiving veterans benefits, and is an enthusiastic supporter of the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. The legislation enhances educational opportunities for veterans and members of the armed forces with service records dating since September 10, 2001.