Each year, the American Bar Association (ABA) picks a public service project to give back to the community. This year’s project is called Project Salute: Young Lawyers Serving Veterans. This service will be offered on a regular basis in the coming year throughout New Mexico, as well as in all 50 states. It will go a long way to assist in the image of the legal profession, as well as benefitting veterans.
On Saturday, July 28, 2012, the State Bar of New Mexico Young, Lawyers Division (YLD), sponsored a free individual legal consultation service at the State Bar of New Mexico Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Six attorney volunteers assisted the veterans in attendance. The veterans were there to request legal assistance with the application for disability benefits, to apply for or increase their benefits, or to contest a VA ruling. Others were having different legal issues including home ownership, VA loans, retirement, and repairing DD Form 214. All of the Veterans were there because they needed legal advice and either did not know where to turn, or they could not afford to pay for a consultation.
The scope of the public service project is to assist veterans with the application process for VA benefits. However, the veterans who have additional legal questions will receive assistance by the onsite volunteer attorneys, who can provide them with contact information for referrals to other legal service providers.
I salute them for their efforts.
Contact your local state bar association for the dates and locations in your state.