Message to Stetson Alumni and Friends

In March 1865, only a month before his assassination, President Abraham Lincoln called on the nation to care for the families of those who had borne the horrific costs of the Civil War. The noble cause that President Lincoln addressed in 1865 is still relevant today. As we celebrate our nation's Independence, let us remember our active duty military and veterans, and honor the sacrifices they made on our behalf.

Here at Stetson Law, we are working to fulfill President Lincoln's charge by providing assistance to active military members and veterans through the Veterans Law Institute (VLI). The four components of the VLI are: (1) legal assistance with Department of Veterans Affairs claims and appeals through an on-campus clinic; (2) legal help for active duty military and veterans through the organization of pro bono resources in our community; (3) services to Stetson Law students; and (4) policy and outreach at the local and national levels. 

Stetson Law has always been a friend to members of the military, veterans and their families. In the past, the VLI, in conjunction with the Center for Excellence in Elder Law, the St. Petersburg Bar Foundation and the Community Law Program, sponsored Wills for the Greatest Generation, a program through which low-income veterans and their spouses created simple wills and health care directives. Furthermore, the VLI continually partners with the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) to provide pro bono representation for veterans and active duty members of the armed services who are in need of guardianships. More information about the outstanding work of the VLI is detailed on the College of Law's website at

The work of the VLI would not be possible without the generosity of many of Stetson Law's most dedicated donors, particularly Judge Raphael “Ray” Steinhardt, for whom the VLI's building is named. Judge Steinhardt's generosity is just one of many acts of giving back.

There are many opportunities for you to support our student veterans, and I hope you will consider a gift to one of these fantastic scholarships in this season of gratitude to our heroic service men and women. Simply click GIVE here, and make your gift to veterans' initiatives at Stetson Law.

I hope that you will consider, as I surely will, President Lincoln's invocation, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan.” Your gift to veteran's scholarships at Stetson University College of Law will have a profound impact on the lives of those who have sacrificed the most for our freedom.