“The American Bar Association joins the nation on this Veterans Day to honor the patriotism, sacrifice and contributions of those who have served their country and defended the rule of law in the United States and across the globe,” ABA President Judy Perry Martinez said in a statement released Nov. 11.
The ABA serves the veterans and military communities in a number of ways. The ABA Grassroots Action Center offers ABA members the opportunity to send messages directly to their elected officials on issues important to the legal community. One of those issues with member support is the Homeless Veteran Legal Services Act, which would provide homeless vets with needed support.
Other programs are housed under ABA Military and Veterans Legal Center. One is the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which accepts case referrals from military attorneys on behalf of junior-enlisted, active-duty military personnel facing civil legal issues, and it works to place these cases with pro bono attorneys.
This program is also the platform for Operation Stand-By, a state-by-state list of civilian attorneys, divided by practice area, who have volunteered to provide consultation and advice to military attorneys and other pro bono attorneys when necessary to better advise their military and veteran clients. This often includes practice area and jurisdiction-specific advice and direction that the military lawyer and pro bono attorney can relay to the client.
The Veterans Claims Assistance Network connects veterans with pro bono attorneys who volunteer to assist with the preparation of initial disability compensation claims for submission to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
ABA Home Front, an online legal education and referral resource center includes a library of articles on a variety of topics relevant to servicemembers and veterans, written for nonlawyers, and a national index of military legal assistance, pro bono, legal aid, bar associations, lawyer referral resources and other organizations providing legal support to servicemembers and veterans.
Martinez gave remarks at the Legal Services Corporation’s Veterans Day Forum at New York University Law School, which examined Legal Aid’s importance to veterans and military families. Joining her was ABA Executive Director Jack Rives, former judge advocate general of the U.S. Air Force and 3-star lieutenant general.
“Our country owes a debt to the people who have stepped up and defended our democracy,” Martinez’s statement said. “On this Veterans Day and beyond, let us all continue to explore ways we can work to repay them for their service.”