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Penn Law holds its second annual Veterans Week

November 12, 2018

The week includes a range of programming to engage and inform the Law School community about the experiences of veterans in the legal profession, and to honor veterans for their service.

Beginning on November 12, Penn Law will observe its second annual Veterans Week, a week of programming to engage and inform the Law School community about the experiences of veterans in the legal profession, and to honor veterans for their service. Within Penn Law’s student body, a number of students are veterans of the United States armed forces, including the Army, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Coast Guard, and of the militaries of other nations.  

On Tuesday, November 13, the Penn Law Veterans Club will host a panel discussion and question and answer session, “I’m a Veteran AMA,” moderated by Penn Law Sharswood Fellow CDR (Ret.) Mark P. Nevitt W’97. Nevitt is the former Deputy Director of the Office of JAG Administrative Law Division and a former Naval Flight Officer.

To deliver the Veterans Week keynote address, Penn Law will welcome William McSwain, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (EDPA), on Wednesday, November 14. McSwain served as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer and scout/sniper platoon commander before embarking on a legal career. After graduating from law school, he spent several years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the EDPA U.S. Attorney’s office. McSwain later joined the Philadelphia office of the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath, where he was a partner specializing in white collar criminal matters and complex business litigation. He was sworn into his current position as U.S. Attorney in April 2018. His keynote address, “United We Stand: A Discussion with William M. McSwain,” will be held in the Fitts Auditorium and followed by a reception.

Finally, Thursday, November 15 is Penn Law’s annual Veterans Visit Day, when prospective applicants who have served in the armed forces can come to learn more about the Law School and meet with fellow veterans. The day will conclude with the Veterans Week Celebration BBQ, held in the Courtyard.

To learn more about veterans at the Law School and the work of the Penn Law Veterans Club, watch the video below.



Stephanie Thistle: Penn Law Veterans Club was created in 2014 to serve as a single voice at the Law School for veteran-related issues and programming.

Chris Morales L’18: It’s made up of different service members actually at Penn Law, from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, as well as different international militaries.

Machael Bropleh L’19: So, it’s easy for us to understand where the other person is coming from. However, we’re not that similar so we can bring other ideas if someone’s going through issues that they have with law school that a typical law student wouldn’t necessarily have.

Frank Broomell L’19: This year we were able to do our first Veterans Week — we had events each day of the week leading up to Veterans Day. The school community really got engaged and involved. We had discussions about everything from breaking down the civilian-military divide to talking about legal challenges in the American military.

Aaron McKenney L’19: We’re looking forward to expanding these events moving forward, for example were working currently on developing a program to highlight female veterans. We think it’s really important to have the women be represented in our society and our community. We really believe that’s important.

Stephanie Thistle: Veterans come with a very unique perspective, again just because of their experiences that they’ve been through and from their high-risk work environment, and the transition from veteran life to civilian life, and why they choose law school why Penn Law.

Chris Morales L’18: Another thing we do is we actually help veterans who are applying to law school and applying to Penn Law in particular. We host visit days, engage in outreach to basically help those who are in the same shoes that we were when we were applying to law school.

Frank Broomell L’19: What Penn Law has recently decided to do is to expand their Yellow Ribbon contribution to an unlimited amount. In conjunction with the VA, the school is contributing to allow veterans to attend for no cost.

Machael Bropleh L’19: I’m very happy that I made the choice to come to Penn Law. I’m very happy that I was able to meet these esteemed individuals that I have.

Aaron McKenney L’19: If you look at the legal profession, it’s a profession where people are literally trusting their lives or their livelihoods to you as their attorney. You’re working on behalf of somebody else, and there’s a great honor in doing that.