The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University today announced the naming of its veterans law clinic for Robert W. Entenmann in recognition of the Entenmann family’s commitment to expanding the clinic’s services for Long Island’s nearly 114,000 veterans.
The Robert W. Entenmann Veterans Law Clinic, originally launched in January 2017 by Hofstra Law’s Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy, will become a clearinghouse for veterans services, providing legal assistance and connecting them to vital medical, social service and mental health resources. It is being supported by a $500,000 gift through the Entenmann family, and is named in memory of Robert W. Entenmann, who proudly served in the Marines and was an advocate for all veterans.
“We are grateful for the generous support of the Entenmann family and their recognition of the Law School’s critical role in providing free legal services for our local community,” said Judge A. Gail Prudenti, Dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law. “To be able to offer our students real-world training and assist veterans with their legal needs is a win-win.”
The Veterans Law Clinic currently assists veterans with legal services related to physical and psychological challenges, including traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other injuries incurred during military service. The clinic helps veterans obtain health care benefits, including cases to obtain Veterans Administration benefits, appeal denials of disability compensation claims, and request increased compensation.
Bob Rosenthal, Hofstra Law alumnus and vice chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, advises the Robert W. Entenmann family and its charitable endeavors. “Our veterans have sacrificed much to protect the rights of all Americans,” he said, “and it is an honor to support initiatives like this that protect their rights as well.”
Said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz: “The Maurice A. Deane School of Law has a long history of serving the community through its clinic programs, and we are grateful to the Entenmann family for supporting these efforts to give back to those who have given so much to our country.”
As part of its expanded services, Hofstra Law students will partner with fourth-year medical students in the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell to do medical research related to client cases and assist with “nexus letters,” documents that effectively connect the client’s medical condition to their military service.
The clinic will also use web-based software to create a virtual clinic to increase its capacity to provide services to those veterans whose mobility may be limited.
In addition, the clinic will develop a number of legal resources for veterans, such as “Know Your Legal Rights” guides, will form relationships with other community stakeholders to collaborate and integrate services, and will organize outreach events to expand the veterans’ support network.
“We are working to transform the landscape of veterans’ services in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and beyond,” said Janet L. Dolgin, the Jack and Freda Dicker Distinguished Professor of Health Care Law and director of the Gitenstein Institute. “We hope to create a model that can be replicated by other institutions that serve veterans.”
Since its founding, Hofstra Law has been at the forefront of integrating hands-on learning into the traditional law school curriculum. The Law School currently offers 12 clinical programs for Hofstra Law students to train and represent clients on a variety of legal issues, including community and economic development, criminal justice, entrepreneurship, family law, immigration, and intellectual property.