Former founding partner of Bruno, Gerbino & Soriano (BG&S) LLP, Craig J. Bruno is now the director of the Veterans’ and Service members’ Rights Clinic at the Touro College Law Center in Central Islip, NY.
“It’s going well. We are working on rebuilding the clinic by expanding our outreach,” said Bruno, who first started volunteering as a staff attorney at the Clinic in September.
Bruno noted that some of the outreach includes visits to county jails and courts in Suffolk County, which has one of the largest concentrations of veterans anywhere in the country, and is the site of a major VA Hospital, the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It is estimated that more than 80,000 former service members live in the county, many of whom are homeless, incarcerated or at risk in some way.
He and his group focus on helping the veterans remove barriers to their reintegration into the community, particularly in the area of discharge upgrades for many combat veterans who have received less than fully honorable discharges as the result of conduct related to undiagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Clinic, which serves an integral part of education at Touro College, is available to full-time students in their second year and part-time students in their third year, and required as a condition of graduation. It gives students the honor and opportunity to get real-world experience by representing veterans and their families with matters such as debt relief, child support or mortgage payments under the tutelage and guidance of experienced faculty.
Dean Harry Ballan, who was appointed as dean of the Touro Law Center last August, said, “We are thrilled that Mr. Bruno is lending his time and expertise not only to the clients we serve but to our students as well. We are grateful to have Mr. Bruno join our team.”
Touro Law Center was established in 1980 as part of Touro College, a private, not-for-profit, coeducational institution based in New York City. Founded under Jewish auspices by its first president, the late Dr. Bernard Lander, the College was chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1970.
In April 1986, the Law Center was officially named the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in honor of Judge Jacob Fuchsberg, a distinguished litigator who served as an associate justice of the New York State Court of Appeals – the state’s highest court – from 1975 to 1983.
As an attorney at BG&S from 1996 to 2014, Bruno was the Managing Partner in all areas of defense litigation. He acted as litigation and advisory counsel for several national corporations. His practice also concentrated on investigation of fraudulent personal injury claims.
He was admitted to the New York State Bar and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York after attaining a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in 1978 and a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern School of Law in Los Angeles in 1981.