By Andrea Bilton
The Maurice A. Deane School of Law announced on Thursday, Nov. 9 the official naming of its Veterans Law Clinic in memory of Robert W. Entenmann, a proud Marine and advocate for all veterans. Since the initial launch of the clinic in January, the Entenmann family has dedicated itself to expanding services to benefit the 114,000 veterans residing on Long Island, as well as donating $500,000 to the cause.
“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, the 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.”
After being opened by Hofstra Law’s Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy, the Veterans Law Clinic was intended to be a clearinghouse for veterans’ services – offering legal assistance and connections to medical, social service and mental health resources. The clinic provides legal aid to veterans with physical and psychological challenges such as traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries obtained during military service. It also helps veterans to receive health care and Veterans Administration benefits, appeal denials of disability compensation claims and request increased compensation.
“Our veterans have sacrificed much to protect the rights of all Americans,” said Bob Rosenthal, a Hofstra Law alumnus and the vice chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees. He also advises the Robert W. Entenmann family and its charitable endeavors. “It is an honor to support initiatives like this that protect their rights as well.”
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, which will form relationships with other community stakeholders to collaborate and integrate services, and will organize outreach events to expand the veterans’ support network.
“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,” said President Stuart Rabinowitz.
“The Long Island and metropolitan area has one of the highest populations of veterans in all of the United States,” said Dennis Hewson, a 2017 Hofstra law graduate and senior fellow in the Gitenstein Institute. “Many of these veterans are unaware of the benefits that they may be entitled to and their rights to challenge the decisions rendered on their benefits with the help of an attorney. Simply put, our mission is to give back to these veterans and assist them in getting the benefits they’re due. These people have sacrificed so much putting their country first and by assisting them, the Hofstra Veterans Legal Clinic is simply doing our part to give back.”
“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.”