Stetson’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic honored for feature video depicting its work to help a Marine veteran and spouse obtain long-awaited benefits

Stetson University College of Law’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic has won a national 2018 Hermes Creative Award for its feature video about law student Kyle Short’s work through the Clinic to help a Tampa Bay area veteran named Joe and his spouse Karla obtain long-awaited benefits.

The video, Stetson University’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic: The Story of Karla and Joe, filmed by Stetson’s manager of video production Stan Arthur, has won a gold award from Hermes in the video: nonprofit category.

The Story of Karla and Joe relates the story of a couple who fought for years to receive veterans benefits for Joe, a Marine who served at Camp Lejeune. When Karla and Joe came to Stetson’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic for help, Stetson Law student and Marine Kyle Short assisted with their benefits claim. Joe was very ill, and succumbed to his illness and died, but through the work of Stetson’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic, his surviving spouse Karla received the benefits he was owed.

Stetson’s Veterans Advocacy Clinic, located on Stetson University’s Gulfport, Florida, campus, was dedicated as part of the Veterans Law Institute in 2012 to help the growing population of Tampa Bay veterans obtain denied Veterans Administration disability benefits.

Professor Stacey-Rae Simcox, director of the Veterans Law Institute and Veterans Advocacy Clinic, oversees Stetson Law students providing free legal assistance to veterans seeking denied disability benefits.

“Stetson’s law students are at the heart of the Clinic’s mission to serve our nation’s disabled veterans by providing them top notch legal help to receive the benefits they have earned,” said Professor Simcox. “Without their passion and energy, the unique partnership that Stetson created with the University of South Florida’s medical school, which helps us to seek medical evidence to support veterans’ disability claims, would not have been possible. They also work diligently to support Stetson, Bay Area Legal Services, and the local Veterans Affairs Medical Center to provide legal services to veterans in need at the local VA hospital. It is gratifying to see the hard work of law students who have the opportunity to learn and give back through this clinical experience, highlighted in this video.”

Visit the Veterans Law Institute at Stetson to learn more. Veterans who need free legal help with VA disability benefits appeals should reach out to the Veterans Advocacy Clinic at Stetson at 727-562-7324 or visit http://www.stetson.edu/law/veterans/legal-help-for-veterans.php.