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Navy JAG Lawyer to Discuss Nation-building in Afghanistan

November 29, 2010

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- Lt. Joe Griffo, a Vermont Law School alumnus and Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) officer stationed in Afghanistan, will discuss his role in strengthening that nation's legal system at 3:35 p.m., Monday, Nov. 29 in the Chase Community Center. The lecture, titled "A Lawyer's Work in Country: From Vermont Law School to the Front Lines of Afghanistan," is free and open to the public.

Griffo, 29, a former Student Bar Association president who graduated in 2007, is a Rule of Law JAG attorney responsible for helping to build Afghanistan's judicial and law enforcement systems. Since June, he has been embedded with Afghan prosecutors, police, judges and ministry officials, mentoring them on how to follow and enforce the laws and policies of Afghanistan. "Along with that job come the challenges of security, corruption and lack of education throughout the country," Griffo said. "The education I received from VLS provided me with the analytical tools to think creatively on how to tackle complex issues. When you have a language barrier, an education barrier and a security risk, it requires a heightened level of awareness and skill."

In his third year at VLS, the former Eagle Scout joined the Navy JAG, which gives Navy, Marine and Coast Guard personnel assistance in military justice, environmental law, international law and other areas. When his tour of duty ends in Afghanistan, Griffo will be counsel to the judge advocate general of the Navy, Vice Admiral James Houck, at the Pentagon. Griffo's wife, Shannon Griffo '07, works for the Environmental Protection Agency in Dallas.

CONTACT: John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations
 802-831-1106 , jcramer@vermontlaw.edu

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