ABA Military Pro Bono Project: 2014 Summer Newsletter – Volunteer Attorneys

  • 9/4/2014
  • ABA Military Pro Bono Project
  • Source: Misc National Sites > ABA Military Pro Bono Project

ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel

ABA Military Pro Bono Project
2014 Summer Newsletter
Pro Bono Attorneys


Read the latest information about the following:

ABA Military Pro Bono Project: Assisting active duty military members

The ABA Military Pro Bono Project accepts case referrals from military legal assistance offices anywhere in the world on behalf of junior enlisted servicemembers facing civil legal issues, and it places these cases with pro bono attorneys where the legal assistance is needed in the United States. Read some of the case stories to see how our volunteers are successfully helping our military families.

Are you receiving the Military Pro Bono Project's weekly case opportunities email? If not, please sign up! You can also explore pro bono case opportunities under the website's For Volunteer Attorneys tab, which is updated daily.

The Project's ongoing success depends on attorneys' continued participation. Based on case–closing data provided by all of you who participated, over 4,300 billable hours of pro bono service for our servicemembers, valued at over $1.2 million, were donated in 2013. Thank you for our volunteers' generosity and ongoing help!

Questions? Find further information on

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Operation Stand–By: Providing guidance to military attorneys

Through the Military Pro Bono Project’s Operation Stand–By, you may offer to provide attorney–to–attorney guidance to military attorneys so they can further assist their servicemember clients. Thanks to those of you who have joined and are participating!

When working with their clients, there may be times when military attorneys need state–specific legal information, or perhaps a deeper analysis of a legal area with which they are less familiar. Joining Operation Stand–By gives you the opportunity to help our servicemembers with a very small time commitment, as participation with Operation Stand–By in itself does not entail representation. Rather, you will potentially receive short calls or emails from JAGs in need of attorney–to–attorney guidance relating to your areas of expertise. Military attorneys registered with the Project will find your contact information and areas of expertise on a password–secured list on the Project website.

Sign up to join Operation Stand–By! Log onto the Project website to update your profile and join Operation Stand–By (in your profile, click on “I am registering to join the Project’s Operation Stand–By”).

Already signed up with Operation Stand–By? Please log onto the Project website to review your profile to ensure that your contact information and substantive legal areas of interest are up–to–date. Also, have you completed the Operation Stand–By Survey: Volunteer Attorneys? If you are signed up with Operation Stand–By and have not yet completed this survey, please take a couple of minutes to do so. We appreciate your feedback.

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The ABA, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is providing a unique, limited-scope pro bono volunteer opportunity for lawyers to help veterans with the preparation and completion of claims for disability compensation benefits currently pending with VA: The ABA Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network (VCAN).

ABA VCAN recently launched as a pilot program, focusing on pending claims in VA Regional Offices in Chicago, Illinois, and St. Petersburg, Florida, but many of these claims can be assisted by attorneys located anywhere in the country. VA is selecting eligible veterans for this pilot by targeting unrepresented veterans who are in, or are at risk of falling into, the VA’s claims backlog. Not only will individual veterans served through this program potentially receive benefits more rapidly, but the support provided by ABA VCAN’s volunteers will supplement the overall delivery of VA services, benefitting all veterans within the VA system.

To volunteer, attorneys must first take 4 simple steps:

  1. Register with VCAN;
  2. Receive VA accreditation;
  3. Complete the free ABA VCAN Preparation of VA Disability Claims CLE; and
  4. Read, sign, and submit to VCAN the ABA VCAN Pledge Form.

Questions? Please find further information on and visit the ABA VCAN Q&A page.

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Educational Resources

CLE Programs

  • Did you know that the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP) consistently hosts free CLE courses? Visit the LAMP CLE webpage for information about upcoming CLE programs, along with educational materials from previous CLE courses.

Useful Books

The men and women in uniform who risk their lives to defend our nation are targeted by certain types of sales, scams and abusive commercial practices with appalling frequency. They deserve better. This book, Ripped Off!, is an important tool to ensure that our military personnel are educated about these scams so that rip offs can be recognized and prevented. Written by Michael S. Archer, a retired Major in the US Marine Corps, this book is accessible to a wide audience that includes servicemembers, superior officers, military legal assistance attorneys and other lawyers, as well as military and civilian authorities. This book is available on the ABA Web Store.


American Bar Association Legal Guide for Military Families is the complete resource for servicemembers, veterans, and their families. This guide will help all servicemembers clarify their legal issues, understand the options, and locate assistance. Topics are presented in an easy-to-read format and every chapter includes a resources section with phone numbers, websites, and contacts to help servicemembers find answers and move forward. This book is available on the ABA Web Store.


A Judge's Benchbook for the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, by Colonel John S. Odom, Jr., USAF, Retired, is designed to acquaint judges of all levels regarding the provisions that protect servicemembers while they serve on active duty, because many judges are unfamiliar with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The Benchbook is available on the ABA Web Store.


Description: Sullivan Military Divorce Handbook

The new edition of The Military Divorce Handbook, by Mark E. Sullivan, is a timely and much–needed addition to a family lawyer's library. Both comprehensive and practical, it covers all aspects of representing servicemembers and their spouses in divorce in an accessible, easy–to–use format. This book is available on the ABA Web Store.

ABA Members may purchase these books at discounted prices!

ABA Military Pro Bono Project’s Online Library

Did you know that the ABA Military Pro Bono Project has an online library filled with resources that focus on legal issues faced by servicemembers, veterans, and military family members? Log onto the website and visit the Library.

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Dialogue: News and Perspectives from the ABA Division for Legal Services

Read the latest articles in Dialogue—the magazine of the ABA Division for Legal Services, which brings you news and topical information about the delivery of legal services to low and moderate income people—featured by the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP):

Would you be interested in writing an article for Dialogue? Review the Dialogue Writers’ Guidelines or contact us at for more information.

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Financial Support to the Military Pro Bono Project

Visit to donate. Your financial support of the Project, through the ABA Fund for Justice and Education, a 501(c)(3) entity, will help to ensure that our servicemembers receive the legal help that they need.

Learn how you, your firm, or your company can become a Star Ranking Supporter by visiting the Project website or contacting the Project Director, Mary Meixner, at or 312.988.5783.

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Thank you to the Project's Star Ranking Supporters!

Five Stars
ABA Logo
Five Stars
Lockheed Martin
Mr. and Mrs. David C. Merjan

And thank you to all of our Star Ranking Supporters acknowledged on the Project website.

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