Major gifts to expand law school clinic’s support for veterans

The Veterans Legal Clinic, which was established in 2018, has already helped approximately 430 veterans and their family members claim more than $1.5 million in additional benefits since opening its doors. This impact is expected to grow exponentially with the expansion of services for Georgia military veterans and their families later this year.

jim butler pic

Since 2019, Jim Butler (J.D.’77) has also supported the school’s Butler Commitment – which guarantees financial aid to 100% of student veteran Juris Doctor matriculants. His gifts have been made in memory of his father, Lt. Cmdr. James E. Butler Sr., who was a U.S. Navy fighter pilot, and his brother, Dennis Butler, who served in the U.S. Army. Photo by Ian MacFarlane.

Thanks to additional financial support from renowned Georgia trial lawyer James E. “Jim” Butler Jr. (J.D.’77) and an anonymous donor, the Athens-based clinic – which primarily assists former military members in Georgia with claims before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – will soon be able to offer:

  • A virtual remote outreach program for Georgia veterans statewide, turning last year’s successful pilot of the Georgia Veterans Outreach Project into a permanent service.
  • Psychological and medical evaluations to determine the existence of invisible injuries sustained during military service, including those resulting from trauma or toxic exposure.
  • Self-advocacy webinars that will educate and empower former military members as they work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies on various benefits and services that are available to them as veterans.

“I am grateful to Jim Butler and our anonymous donor for their commitments to Georgia’s veterans and the School of Law,” Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “This latest funding will have a transformational impact on the services the Veterans Legal Clinic can provide. It will allow us to build our capacity and scale our efforts with new technologies, ultimately benefiting more Georgians who have served our country.”