Kristine Huskey Honored with Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society’s Top Civilian Award

July 15, 2021

Huskey is the director of the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic

Kristine Huskey surrounded with current and former students, professors and family after receiving award

Left to Right: Jessica Smedley, Vet Clinic student, Veteran (Navy); Lori Lewis, Vet Clinic Fellow; Judge Michael Pollard, Arizona Law alum, started Veterans Treatment Court in Tucson City Court, Veteran (Marine); Kristine Huskey, her son, Luke; [in the back] Garrett Hable, Vet Clinic student; Dayna Michael, Arizona Law alum, former Vet Clinic student and current attorney supervisor, Veteran (Army); Dean Marc Miller; Melissa Zeid, law student; Mario Rios, recent grad/Vet Clinic student, Veteran (Army); Judge Maria Felix, Arizona Law Alum, started Veterans Treatment Court at Pima County Justice Court; Professor Paul Bennett; Michelle Bowen, Arizona Law Alum, former Vet Clinic student and current attorney supervisor, Veteran (Air Force).

University of Arizona Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic Kristine Huskey has been awarded with the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society’s 2020 Copper Sword Awardpresented annually to individuals who did not serve in military forces but have distinguished themselves by their dedication, humanitarianism and support of veteran initiatives.  

“It is an award I accept on behalf of all the Veterans Clinic students and faculty, who over the years have inspired me with their unwavering dedication to helping Veterans,” said Huskey, who was joined at the awards celebration by family, current and former students, law school colleagues and several judges. 

Kristine Huskey with her husband Bryan Di Lella and their son Luke.

Kristine Huskey with her husband Bryan Di Lella and their son Luke.

Under Huskey’s direction, Arizona Law students in the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic assist current and former military service members with legal issues, represent veterans before local Veterans Courts and on administrative cases, and work on policy issues relating to military service. In the fall 2020 semester, Huskey worked with five students to represent approximately 100 veterans in more than 20 Veterans Treatment Court sessions. 

For Huskey, her work with veterans hits close to home. 

Huskey’s father served during the Vietnam War, and her mother is a former army nurse. One of her grandfathers flew B-17s during World War II, and her other grandfather, a native Filipino who survived the Bataan Death March during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, was a U.S. Army scout who served for 20 years in the U.S. military. 

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve in a different way,” said Huskey. “Receiving an award for serving those who have served is a profound honor.” 

Huskey joined University of Arizona Law in 2013. In addition to teaching clinical legal education, she also teaches international human rights law, national security law and the laws of armed conflict. Huskey writes on issues involving veterans, criminal justice, international human rights, military affairs, and national and international security. In addition to her academic career, she has worked in the policy arena and practiced law in Washington, D.C. on issues involving national security, human rights, and foreign and military affairs.   

A Commitment to Veterans 

Since launching in 2010, the Veterans’ Advocacy Law Clinic has assisted more than 1,600 veterans, working on their cases or making referrals to veteran-friendly nonprofits and attorneys. Many students who have worked in the clinic over the years are also veterans. “I see this as a continuation of my service,” said Navy veteran Donald Walton (‘18) of his time working in the clinic. 

Judge Michael Pollard (‘72) started Arizona’s first veterans treatment court in 2009, and one year later Arizona Law students John BarwellKris Carlson and Russell Clarkeall veterans—began volunteering to support the veterans who were appearing in court. After the Veterans’ Advocacy Clinic became official and began offering academic credit, Huskey joined as director, expanding the clinic’s services to include benefits appeals cases and discharge upgrade cases. 

Part of a Military-Friendly University 

Each year, more than 1,800 student veterans enroll at the University of Arizona, thanks to elite academic offerings, career resources and integrated support for military-connected students and families. 

The Military Times ranked the University of Arizona No. 14 overall and No. 3 in the West in its 2021 Best for Vets ranking. U.S. News and World Report ranked Arizona as a top university for veterans for both online and in-person degree programs in 2021. 

The university’s Veterans Education & Transition Services (VETS) office provides comprehensive support and advising to military-connected students, including military spouses and dependents. The Military-Connected Benefits and Certifications Office works in partnership with the Veterans Administration to assist military-connected students with education benefits and tuition assistance. The University of Arizona Vet Alliance trains faculty and staff advocates to create a supportive campus culture for military-connected students. 


An Honorable Discharge 48 Years in the Making 
How 10 Arizona Law students working over eight semesters and three summers secured victory for a veteran 

UA Law Students Impact Lives of Veterans 
Through the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic, students represent veterans through a court-monitored, six-month diversion program, giving back and gaining valuable experience.