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Student Organization Spotlight: Veterans Advocacy Club

Each Nov. 11, Americans honor and celebrate the courageous service and sacrifice of all those who have proudly served in our nation’s armed forces. At LSU Law, the Veterans Advocacy Club student organization strives to make every day Veterans Day by advocating and raising funds for military veterans as well as providing resources and support.

“The Veterans Advocacy Club is important because it gives back to people who have given so much to their country,” said VAC President and U.S. Army veteran Brock McKiness. “The veterans who defend the laws and freedom of this nation should have a voice in the place where those laws can change.”

The VAC—and McKiness particularly—have played a key role in helping LSU Law bring the new William A. Brookshire Veterans Law Clinic to fruition. When VAC formed a committee in October 2021 to explore the idea of establishing a pro bono legal clinic for veterans at LSU Law, McKiness was appointed as its chairman. Not only does he continue to serve in the role today, but he has also worked on the clinic for more than a year as the committee’s sole member.

“Over my 1L year and the summer, I spent well over 100 hours doing research, educating myself, drafting proposals, networking, looking for funding, reading through grant requirements, taking meetings, and more,” said McKiness, who also joined the National Law School Veterans Consortium and established a working relationship with the LSU William A. Brookshire Military & Veterans Student Center.

As discussions about the clinic evolved and progressed, McKiness participated in meetings with Assistant Dean of Experiential Education Robert Lancaster, Professor Bill Corbett—who serves as faculty advisor for VAC—and the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, which is collaborating with LSU Law on the clinic.

Now that funding has been secured through a generous $600,000 gift from the William A. Brookshire Foundation and the LSU Law Faculty and Academics Committee has formally voted to the make the clinic an official course in the spring semester, the new clinic is finally a reality. When it begins operating in January, McKiness will be one of the clinic’s first students.

“I am still shocked,” he said. “There were a lot of naysayers who thought that this was nearly impossible. I thought, at best, that I was doing the groundwork for future students, but then the right people got involved. Next thing I know, I’m writing my statement of interest to take the course myself! I am thankful for all those who rallied around the cause.”

Along with providing additional, needed support for veterans, McKiness said he hopes the new clinic will also lead to increased membership and activity in the Veterans Advocacy Club, which is open to veterans and non-veterans alike. Like many student organizations, the Veterans Advocacy Club experienced a brief period of inactivity during the pandemic, and it has been working hard this year to reestablish itself. Meetings are held each month for the roughly 40 current members, and the organization is open to new members joining at any time. McKiness added he would also like to see the VAC formally commit to supporting and preserving the new clinic in its bylaws.

“This could include anything the clinic needs,” he said, “from research and networking to helping with fundraising efforts as the clinic grows.”

To observe Veterans Day this year, VAC hosted an obstacle course and fun run for the LSU Law community that also served as a fundraiser. McKiness said the club expects to host another fundraiser in the spring, along with a panel of local military veteran attorneys to speak with students about their experiences fighting for justice in the military and in the courtroom.


  • Faculty Advisor: Professor Bill Corbett
  • President: Brock A. McKiness
  • Vice President: Sydney Britt
  • Secretary: Chris Kauffeld
  • Treasurer: John “Gunter” Clements
  • 3L class representative: Gabby Cox
  • 2L class representative: Brandon Hagler
  • 1L class representative: Matt Rozas