Van Pelt Serves Armed Forces Through Legal Clinic

Law student Garrett Van Pelt, an Army veteran and reservist, was profiled in a news article for his pro bono work with Mason Law's Clinic for Legal Assistance to Servicemembers and Veterans (CLASV).

Van Pelt is one of the 20 to 22 Mason Law students who work at the clinic each year, serving active duty service members, their dependents, and military veterans through their efforts in handling a variety of non-criminal legal cases at no cost to the client. 

To date students participating in CLASV have donated over $1 million in pro bono services through the clinic, which serves primarily Northern Virginia clients.

A majority of the cases handled through the clinic involve family issues. Currently Van Pelt is working on an uncontested divorce and a step-parent adoption, in addition to a contract dispute and a landlord-tenant case. For his involvement in the clinic, Van Pelt will earn two academic credits; however, it would be difficult to quantify the value of the trial experience gained. 

"I'm still in the Army Reserve, so it's nice to be able to help soldiers," Van Pelt told the article's author. "I'll be graduating already having trial experience....Hopefully that translates into job offers." 

Van Pelt expects to graduate from the law school in December.