2017 Tillman Scholar

Patrick Robinson

Stanford University

“How we treat our veterans influences the caliber and number of people who choose to serve.”

For Patrick’s family, military service is tradition. His father, grandfather, three uncles, aunt, great-uncle, and two cousins have all served on active duty. How our nation treats its veterans influences the caliber and number of people who serve in our military, but more personally, Patrick knows how veterans are treated is how his family is treated.

Patrick began his active duty career as an Army lawyer in February of 2009. He served as a legal assistance attorney, military prosecutor, deployed operations command legal advisor, military defense counsel, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Beginning in June of 2015, Patrick pushed to promote the care of veterans in the criminal justice system. While serving as a federal prosecutor, he led the creation of a Veterans Treatment Court on Fort Hood to connect justice-involved veterans to mentorship and treatment in lieu of incarceration and conviction.

This court, the first treatment court on a military installation, grew out of Patrick’s experience with the military community, observations of the mental health challenges faced by many defendants, successes and failures to effect change within the military, and a desire to support efforts to move from the default of incarceration to more effective criminal justice strategies. Patrick seeks to build on these efforts through the MBA program at Stanford by developing a social venture that seeks out veterans in the justice system who have mental health challenges and helps those veterans get back on their feet and reclaim their honor.