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bc law school magazine

David DelaneyDavid Delaney, 2003
West Point ’94, five years active duty as US Army captain. Founding president, Boston College Law School Veterans Association (photo: Dana Smith)

Why did you go to West Point? For the challenge.

Why law school? It’s a complement to a master’s in international relations I’m also working towards, at the Fletcher School at Tufts. I’m aiming for a policy or legal position in government.

Why was the Veterans Association founded? The founders felt that a network of students with military experience could smooth the transition to civilian life (or into law school for those still on active duty) for veterans and their families. We’re also forming a network of alumni mentors who can discuss their practice areas with students.

Do vets at BC Law have special contributions to make? We can put some legal issues in practical context. For example, in my international human rights class, we were discussing the UN convention on discrimination against women, and I was asked about equality for women in the US military—what I thought about exceptions made for combat positions and the draft. I was able to give a concrete example of how divisive it can be to advocate a human rights standard that isn’t already accepted by the culture.

Has your group done anything in response to September 11? We co-sponsored a panel on international law and national security that featured three legal experts and two senior military officers. It drew a standing-room-only crowd of about 150. One of the things we learned was about the role of lawyers in the military, for instance that US Air Force attorneys are intimately involved in targeting decisions. People came up to me afterwards and said, "I had no idea of that."

—Interviewed by David Reich

Anyone in the BC Law community is invited to participate in the association. Contact Delaney at or write the Veteran's Association, c/o BC Law, 885 Centre Street, Newton, MA 02459. Their website is located at