Army TJAG Visits George Mason School of Law

General Black with Joe Zengerle and Dan Polsby of George Mason University The Clinic for Legal Assistance to Servicemembers (CLAS) began in 2004. A needs assessment revealed that complementing legal services provided by the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps of military lawyers would be an important role for CLAS.  Matters as to which JAG lawyers might not be admitted to practice, like litigation in local jurisdictions, or clients like family members who might not be eligible for JAG assistance, illustrate the opportunities for the clinic.

The CLAS practice would thus have a close relationship to JAG activities. Dean Dan Polsby and CLAS founder Joe Zengerle were invited to visit the Army JAG Center and School in Charlottesville during the clinic's first term.  Brigadier General Scott Black, Commander, provided the initial briefing, demonstrating the institution's impressive capacity, including instructional and student body quality, curriculum scope, operational law counseling that had real-time contact with battlefield issues, and technology support.

BG Black was promoted to Major General and appointed the Army's top lawyer, The Judge Advocate General.  He and Professor Zengerle sat next to each other in the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2005 oral argument in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, in which Dean Polsby and Professors Lund and Zengerle had originated the only law-school brief supporting the Solomon Amendment, later upheld by the Court's unanimous decision.

Last year, MG Black hosted Dean Polsby and Professor Zengerle for lunch at the Pentagon.  Last month, MG Black was the guest of the law school for lunch here, after the nearby photograph was taken.  The relationship reflects the law school's strong support of the JAG Corps of all the armed services, especially in time of war.