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Mason Law Exporting Soldiers' Clinic Concept

ARLINGTON, Va. — The George Mason University School of Law today announced that its Clinic for Legal Assistance to Servicemembers (CLAS) will be working with Missouri interests to establish a pro-bono legal services program in the state modeled after CLAS. The effort is backed by Governor Matt Blunt's Chief of Staff Ed Martin, key state legislators, the Missouri Federalist Society and several of the state's leading law firms. 

CLAS, founded in 2004, is a pro-bono clinic where supervised law students represent active duty servicemembers and their families who would be unduly burdened to retain legal counsel. The civil disputes in which CLAS has represented clients run the gamut from consumer affairs to landlord-tenant, family law, and military disability cases. CLAS is the first clinic of its kind in American legal education and receives funding from Congress and private donors. 

"Encouraging and assisting others to follow our example has been a goal of CLAS from the outset," noted Mason Law Professor Joseph Zengerle, executive director and founder of the clinic. 

"No one has done more than CLAS to provide pro-bono assistance to our troops at a time when they need it most," said Bill Placke, an attorney with Charter Communications who leads the Missouri organizing committee. "We are eager to learn from this one-of-a-kind clinic and to replicate its success."