When veterans come back home, two distinguished students in the University of Missouri School of Law help them adjust to life away from the battlefield
Service means a lot to Allyson Brown and Alec Guy, two students in the University of Missouri School of Law. They use their legal expertise to give back to those who have given everything to protect and defend the United States.
Brown and Guy both received a King Award during the MU Law School Veterans Clinic Open House in 2019 for their dedication and commitment to assisting veterans in legal matters. The event celebrated the clinic’s new, comfortable and spacious location in Hulston Hall. For these two law students, the true reward is helping veterans fight the legal battles they face when they come back home.
“Most of our clients have made enormous sacrifices for our country,” Brown said. “This is a small way to give back to them.”
Brown, from Steele, Missouri, worked in the Veterans Clinic since the fall of 2018. In the clinic, she helped veterans navigate the complicated process of applying for disability benefits. She even coordinated doctor examinations that can help veterans receive those benefits. Some of her work required extensive research.
“I’ve had to research military history to prove a veteran’s ship was less than 12 miles from the shores of Vietnam so that he could get compensation for Agent Orange exposure,” Brown said.
Brown said the new space in Hulston Hall allows for private meetings with veterans and has open spaces for other groups, such as the Missouri Veterans Commission, to come in and collaborate with the students. She said the new space allows them to expand and double the amount of clients they can serve.
Brown, who graduated in May, plans to work for a law firm in Cape Girardeau where she will continue to represent veterans in need. She says working in this smaller environment will allow her to help everyday people, a goal she’s made for herself after working with the clinic.
Guy, a law student from St. Joseph, Missouri, has similar aspirations for his future. He has been with the Veterans Clinic since January 2019. Like Brown, he helps veterans file complex claims for disability compensation, and he corrects errors in reports regarding veterans’ discharges that can affect eligibility for benefits. His inspiration lies close to home.
“My great grandfather served as a medic in World War II, and many of my friends are currently serving in the military,” Guy said. “We enjoy our freedom and safety because of our veterans, and I want to help those individuals in any way I can.”
Guy grew accustomed to interacting with veterans when he participated in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps during high school. He thinks the new clinic provides a space to further the important interactions between veterans and the people they come home to.
Once Guy finishes law school in May 2020 and serves as a clerk for the Missouri Supreme Court, he wants to return to the Kansas City area to work for a law firm.
“I truly enjoyed helping my clients get the benefits they deserve, and I hope I will be able to do something similar after my clerkship,” Guy said. “Being able to help veterans has been an invaluable experience.”