Born out of the BBA's groundbreaking Task Force on Legal Services for
Military Personnel, Veterans and their Families, the BBA's Delivery of Legal
Services (DLS) Section has officially launched the Military & Veterans Pro
Bono Project. The program fulfills a previously unmet need while providing
valuable training to BBA lawyers about service men and women's rights. The
program was developed by the DLS Active Duty Military, Family Members &
Veterans Committee in cooperation with Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), Legal
Advocacy & Resource Center (LARC) and Shelter Legal Services.
"This program will provide essential services to veterans whose legal needs
are uniquely impacted by their military service," said Anna M. Schleelein,
Veterans Program Director at Shelter Legal Services. "This initiative
comes at a critical time as more and more Massachusetts veterans are deploying
or returning from conflicts overseas. Shelter Legal Services is excited to
be working with the BBA and its members to make much needed advocacy more widely
available to those who have served our country and deserve our support."
LARC is now operating a dedicated line to conduct intake for the program and
will be referring the callers to VLP, Shelter Legal Services and the BBA Lawyer
Referral Service based on income guidelines. Beginning in January, the
phone line will be staffed by a law student who has served in the military and
who will be uniquely suited to handle the calls.
"The eager participation of the Sections of the Boston Bar Association has
been critical in this project," said Lynn Girton, DLS Section Co-Chair and Chief
Counsel at VLP. "The Sections, and particularly their pro bono committees, have
quickly and efficiently responded to requests for staffing the Yellow Ribbon
events and organizing appropriate trainings to recruit pro bono volunteers. The
project provides a valuable model of a successful BBA and Legal Services
The BBA's continuing role in the program will be to recruit and train
volunteers to take on pro bono cases for veterans' and military personnel who
otherwise wouldn't have access to legal help. The DLS Active Duty Military,
Family Members & Veterans Committee will also continue to act as an advisory
group for the Project.
LARC & Shelter Legal Services receive financial support from the Boston