In recognition of the fact that Thomas Jefferson School of Law has long been a leader in educating active duty service members, veterans, reservists and military spouses, the school has unveiled a new website designed to streamline the information and application process for those with a military connection.
The website, www.tjsl.edu/military, brings together a collection of resources designed to be especially relevant for those navigating the waters of a career transition after military service, or during a spouse’s military service. The site provides prospective applicants with information about military-specific financial aid options, flexible curricular options, military-focused clinical offerings, and upcoming events that involve the campus military community. The website also provides profiles of current TJSL students and recent graduates who made the transition from military service to student life at TJSL.
The school launched the website following years developing a reputation for being a leader in educating students with a military background. This year, 11% of the fall entering class was made up of those who had served in uniform. The school also welcomes a large number of military spouses, a large proportion of whom are living in San Diego on an active duty service member’s military orders. TJSL has a campus chapter of Student Veterans of America, which is a key component in the school’s reputation for camaraderie among those who have served. The school also provides students with an opportunity to gain hands-on law practice experience through the Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic, which provides free legal representation to veterans who have a variety of legal needs. Student veterans are particularly drawn by the opportunity to gain law practice experience while helping fellow veterans.
Dean Thomas Guernsey marked the launch of the website as evidence of the school’s commitment to meeting the needs of service members and their families. “The Navy and the Marine Corps have played unique roles in shaping the history and culture of San Diego, and the military community has played a major role in shaping the campus community here at TJSL,” said Dean Guernsey. “Among our most important goals at TJSL is delivering an academic program that meets the needs of our service members and their families, with the financial support required to make a law education possible. That’s why I am so proud that so many military students choose TJSL.”
“I am excited about the launch of the new military website at TJSL,” said Jennifer McCollough, a former Navy helicopter pilot who graduated from TJSL in 2013 and who now holds a prestigious federal clerkship in the Eastern District of Texas. “During my time at TJSL, the school was unfailingly flexible in helping me meet the demands of active duty service while continuing my commitment to excellence in my academic endeavors. I hope the site helps other soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen find the same path to opportunity after military service.”
The school owes its reputation as a leader in educating military-connected students in large part to its generous commitment to the Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon program allows a large proportion of TJSL student veterans, and their spouses, to attend the school tuition-free. An even larger number of TJSL students attend law school using Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits, and for many of those students, this entitlement pays for half of law school tuition outright. In addition to those military benefits, students who enter TJSL beginning in the January 2014 entering class will be eligible for a new slate of guaranteed merit scholarships, under a transparent and consistent system that allows applicants who are not using military benefits to clearly understand their prospective merit awards. The new military website provides applicants with a matrix laying out these award amounts.
“I am thrilled that the school has developed this new tool for reaching out to applicants from the military community,” said Professor Bill Slomanson, a Navy veteran who works with many of TJSL’s veteran applicants and students. “It was my own military service that brought me to San Diego, and I see in many of my military students the same desire to settle in this beautiful city. I’m proud that TJSL does such a wonderful job of training our military students for the next stage in their careers, especially because I observe, time and time again, that military students excel in the law school classroom.”