We wish you Happy Veterans Day tomorrow! To all veterans, thank you for serving and protecting our country. To all those who can, take up ABA’s call to action to volunteer in support of our veterans. Spread the word!
If you’d like to get in contact with AABANY’s own Military & Veterans Affair Committee, email Co-Chair Brian Song at [email protected].
Veterans Day: A Call for Lawyers to Serve
by Linda A. Klein, President, American Bar Association
America’s lawyers join the rest of the nation on Veterans Day to honor those who have served to protect and preserve our democratic rule of law. We are indebted to those who have worn the military uniform, along with the family members and caregivers of veterans for all they endure to support those who defended our country.
The American Bar Association has long championed the legal rights of those who answered the call of duty, and this year we established the Veterans Legal Services Initiative through which we will expand on the outstanding work the ABA already does to help veterans. As part of this initiative, this year?s National Pro Bono Celebration has been extended to Veterans Day, with more events encouraged for May around Memorial Day. Please click here to find the nearest pro bono opportunity.
To honor Veterans Day, we call your attention to the following ABA programs and encourage you to volunteer on behalf of or otherwise support those who have protected the freedoms we cherish:
The ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty (www.ambar.org/homeless) conducts programs and advocates on behalf of homeless veterans, who comprise a significant segment of the homeless population. Volunteer lawyers can sign up for an ABA project in cooperation with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs to help homeless veterans comply with child support obligations.
The Veterans Claims Assistance Network (www.abavcan.org) pilot project assisted the wounded and disabled veterans who must wait too long to receive the disability benefits they have earned. Working in close cooperation with the Veterans Administration, the ABA recruited volunteer lawyers to help veterans complete their claims packages for expedited review by the VA?at no cost to the veteran. Having now completed the pilot phase, ABA is now raising funds to relaunch the project as a nationwide initiative.
The ABA Military Pro Bono Project (www.militaryprobono.org) accepts case referrals for civilian pro bono lawyers from military lawyers on behalf of junior-enlisted personnel and their families. A related initiative, Operation Stand-By, enables military lawyers to seek case advice from volunteer civilian lawyers. Volunteer lawyers can sign up for either project on the Military Pro Bono Project website.
ABA Home Front (www.abahomefront.org) is a source of easy-to-understand information on a variety of legal topics military families face every day. The website also provides a directory of legal services. Lawyers seeking pro bono opportunities can sign up on the website.
Learn more, give your support. To learn more about the ABA Veterans Legal Services Initiative, please visit www.ambar.org/veterans and sign up for pro bono events at www.celebrateprobono.org . Please note that we cannot do this critically necessary work without the financial support of our individual and corporate donors; please click here to learn how you can join them and consider designating your gift to veterans legal services.
I invite your involvement in our veterans programs and welcome your comments and suggestions. Thank you.