Vince Mazzurco, JD ’16, has been chosen as the first recipient of The Law School Veterans Fund summer fellowship. With this opportunity, Mazzurco will spend part of the summer creating a new Veterans Legal Services Pro Bono program at Stanford Law School. He hopes the program will help to improve access to justice for veterans, who often face challenges securing benefits, discharge upgrades, and trauma remedies. Given the proximity of Stanford to the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs hospital, the potential for local impact is particularly great.
Mazzurco has seen some of the challenges veterans face first-hand. He grew up in New York City and secured a place in the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy in 2003. Following graduation in 2007, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. After completing basic officer training, he joined the infantry and served as a platoon commander and task force commander at Camp Pendleton, California. He deployed twice to the Middle East and Africa. After his last deployment, he became an instructor in amphibious raids and personnel rescue. He left active duty in September 2013 just as his 1L classes at Stanford Law began. After law school, he plans to return to public service in either government service or the nonprofit community.
The number of veterans attending Stanford Law School has steadily risen since 2001. The Stanford Law Veterans Organization (SLVO) was launched in 2010 to support and mentor former military and military-affiliated members of the Stanford Law community. Last year, SLVO members teamed up with the law school’s development staff and alumni to establish the Law School Veterans Fund to support the summer public interest fellowship at Stanford for a veteran working on veteran-related projects. To date, more than $100,000 has been raised, with key support from three alumni and all of the SLVO members of the Class of 2013. The fund’s initial champions are Steven F. Benz, JD ’90, John Patrick Dugan, JD ’99, and Craig C. Largent, JD ’04 (MS ’89). SL