Living Our Land Grant Mission

One of the hallmarks of a land grant university is the commitment to make a difference in the lives of the communities we serve. At Mizzou this comes alive in many ways. Recently, our law school at MU announced the reopening of the Family Violence Clinic, which had been closed since 2020. Violence negatively affects those who are directly involved in a host of ways, including physical, psychological, mental, and financial damage. At the same time, it also affects the community. Individuals exposed to violence, and especially children and other vulnerable groups, suffer significant life-long damage as a result of exposure to violence.

The Family Violence Clinic at MU’s Law School is unique in that it brings together health care and legal experts who heal and offer solutions to those affected by domestic violence. As the recent news item in the Missourian describes, the clinic provides assistance to women and children who experience domestic abuse and also helps set up guardianship arrangements for children with terminally ill parents. What makes this work so special at a land grant university is the student participation. The learning environment we create prepares our graduates with skills that will help them improve opportunities not only for themselves but for the communities we are all a part of.

The same is true of our Law School’s Veterans Clinic, which is another shining example of connecting scholarship and instruction to service at a land grant university. Working with attorneys, our students help veterans access their VA disability benefits, discharge upgrades, and VA healthcare benefits. Making it easy for veterans to access legal advice, which is not easy or inexpensive, is a small act of respect that we can show to our veterans who serve our country and protect our freedoms. At MU’s Law School, students and faculty take pride in serving our veterans.

We are grateful to the MO General Assembly for approving the funding to support the work of both of these important clinics. A sign above the main elevator in Jesse Hall at Mizzou, declares, In the Midst of What Matters. Our scholarship and instruction are critical, yet without service, they matter little to the communities we serve. Integrating our service mission into our classrooms ensures a legacy that is passed on to every generation of our students.