Enlisting at Harvard Law School—a look at this year’s service members

There are two Navy JAG Corps officers in the HLS LL.M. program this year, both with distinguished legal careers in the military. For the past five years, Stephen C. Reyes LL.M. ’14 served as lead defense counsel for a high-value prisoner facing capital charges in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. Jacob W. Romelhardt LL.M. ’14 has had several deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, where he advised on detainee operations and helped negotiate policy with the Afghanistan government on detainees and on U.S. military special operations.

This year’s 1L class includes nine military veterans, including A. Zoe Bedell ’16, a former U.S. Marine, who helped create and implement a program in Afghanistan to engage female Marines with local women, and who is part of a lawsuit challenging the Department of Defense policy that excludes women from combat positions. In addition to the nine current 1Ls, there are six more students deferring their start because they are still on active duty. The 3L class has ten veterans; the 2L class has seventeen. Of these, fourteen are attending HLS through the Yellow Ribbon program, by which the U.S. Veterans Administration matches the amount a law school offers to pay for a veteran’s tuition and expenses. HLS makes the maximum commitment—50 percent—so that with the VA’s match, these veterans attend for free. Other veterans are funding their HLS education through the G.I. bill and student loans; the military covers the entire cost of the LL.M program.

Original post and more about these awesome veterans available here.