CAMBRIDGE, Mass.,– As the 75th Anniversary of the GI Bill approaches and Service to School (S2S) celebrates the transformative piece of legislation, it is timely and exciting to announce S2S’s partnership with Harvard Law School (HLS) through S2S’s VetLink program.
VetLink directly connects veteran applicants with partner schools that align with their academic goals, aspirations, and potential, and in years past was only open to those applying to undergraduate programs. Recently, VetLink expanded to include graduate programs by partnering with George Washington University’s School of Political Management and now Harvard Law School.
“Harvard is leading the way among law schools in its commitment to enrolling more veterans and leveraging this incredible talent pool. The legal profession will benefit many times over from the combination of their life experiences with world-class legal training, as will other fields that HLS graduates routinely dominate, whether in business, government, non-profits, or academia. It will be exciting to see HLS veteran alumni change the world,” commented Anna Ivey, S2S Co-founder, Board Member, and former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School.
Together, Service to School and VetLink partner schools are transforming outcomes for veterans seeking higher education and increasing access to exceptional academic programs. This partnership aims to further grow the veteran student body of HLS, and provide guidance and opportunity to veterans who may be considering a law degree.
“Harvard University and Harvard Law School have a long tradition of serving the nation by helping to educate members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces,” said Kristi Jobson, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Chief Admissions Officer at HLS. “Today, we are proud to host one of the largest communities of U.S. military veterans of any law school in the country. Harvard Law School is excited to form this new partnership with Service to School, and to add the VetLink program to our many efforts to connect with veterans thinking about a career in the law.”
Hailing from all services and both the officer and enlisted ranks, veterans form an important and growing community at Harvard Law School. In particular, the number of former enlisted students at HLS has grown significantly over the last few years.
During the academic year that just ended, 45 U.S. military veterans were enrolled at HLS. This fall, HLS is projected to have approximately 20 veterans in the incoming class, the largest group in recent years.
The VetLink program will build on recent institutional efforts to welcome veterans to Harvard Law School. HLS already participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, an effort through which the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs works with individual universities and schools to jointly assist students with educational costs not covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. At HLS, there is no limit on the number of students funded or the amount they receive through the program.
Similarly, the Black Family Fellowship, hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center (HKS) for Public Interest Leadership, provides financial support and a comprehensive leadership development program for up to 25 veterans and active duty military students per year at HLS, HKS and Harvard Business School. Seven of the incoming Black Family Fellows for next academic year are HLS students.
The law school has long had an informal relationship with Service to School, with a number of HLS alumni and current students volunteering as Law School Ambassadors.
Josh Mathew ’19, a S2S Law School Ambassador, said, “As a former leader of HLS’ Armed Forces Association, I appreciated the opportunity to work with the Admissions Office over the last two years to expand outreach to veteran applicants. Veterans bring to the classroom a strong work ethic, resilience, and a genuine concern for those to their left and right. Harvard Law has demonstrated a clear commitment to veterans, reflected in the school’s growing student veteran community, its full participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and more. This partnership with VetLink reaffirms that commitment and will serve us well.”
Service to School and HLS are both looking forward to the impact this partnership will create for student veterans, as well as continuing to bridge civil-military divide through higher-ed.