Former Marine displays passion for veterans law

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Aaron Toth followed in his grandfather’s footsteps into the military, and in his father’s footsteps into the law. And now these two passions are intertwined with his interest in helping veterans.

“My grandfather served in World War II as a bomber pilot, piloting a B-17,” Toth says. “It was first through my grandfather that my desire to serve my country and through my service that I knew I wanted to help veterans in any way that I could.”

A 2L student at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Toth spent six years as an Infantry Marine Rifleman in the Marine Corps, with the NCO rank of corporal. He was in charge of a fire team of four Marines before being promoted to squad leader in charge of 17 Marines.

Toth, whose twin brother also served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was deployed on a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to South America where the team trained Peruvian Marines in weapons systems and tactics and also learned jungle warfare.

“My unit was also able to train with Peruvian Marines and Columbia Special Forces while on the U.S.S. Boxer en route to Peru,” he says.

After his service, Toth earned a political science pre-law degree from Michigan State University, then turned his attention to earning a law degree. The study of law has interested him from childhood when he was exposed to the legal world by his father, an attorney at Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton, P.C. in Southfield, where Toth is working part-time.

Toth is enjoying his Detroit Mercy Law School experience.

“The student atmosphere is very welcoming, especially during my first year,” he says. “I like how most of the classes are on a much smaller scale compared to my undergrad classes, and the willingness of professors to help students when they don’t understand something.”

Toth finds his work at the school’s Veterans Law Clinic to be rewarding, and plans to take the Advanced Veterans Law Clinic in the near future.

 “Being a veteran myself, it gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment to be given the chance to help other veterans who served our country and who are in need of our help,” he says. 

“I can’t even begin to explain how much I learn through this clinic. Prior to Veterans law, I didn’t understand how difficult it could be to get VA compensation for service-connected disabilities. I now have the confidence and knowledge to one day be able to help out the veterans of this great country who have given so much.”

Toth would like to continue working alongside his father after graduation.

“He specializes in medical malpractice defense, that would give me trial law experience,” he says. “I’d also like to practice veterans law, and have a veterans law department within the law firm — and do something in the community that involves helping veterans.”

A native of Brighton in Livingston County, where he still makes his home, Toth enjoys playing fantasy football, recreational shooting, mountain biking, snowboarding, and pursuing his passion for studying military history, especially World War II.


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