There are over 607,501 veterans in our state. A surge of service members will soon return from Afghanistan to their families, their jobs, and our communities. Veterans face distinct barriers to successful reintegration into civilian life.
The number of military and veteran suicides is also on the rise and the fastest growing population among the homeless is female veterans. Veterans have historically held a higher unemployment rate than the national average and experience a number of barriers to accessing the justice system. Many veterans face serious legal problems, frequently resulting from PTSD and substance dependency, and often do not know where to turn for help. They served us. Now it’s our turn.
WSBA is launching a new initiative to help you be ready to serve veterans. WSBA Call to Duty will help you get informed, inspired, and involved in meeting the legal needs of veterans and their families. We’ll be sharing information and updates about the legal challenges vets are facing. We will introduce you to some inspiring veterans and the lawyers serving by their side. And we will give you the tools and resources to put your legal skills to work at one of our new Days of Service or through one of the many great opportunities listed below. Subscribe to NWSidebar to get exciting announcements or email us at PublicService@wsba.org to learn more.
We are not in this alone. What better way to kick off this new initiative than to introduce you to our peers, partners, and friends who are also ramping up efforts to serve veterans? If you don’t already know about these great resources, please check them out:
Resources for Lawyers Interested in Serving Veterans
Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP) Section
The WSBA LAMP Section addresses matters related to the rendition of appropriate and efficient legal services to members of the Armed Forces of the United States. Join their Section or visit their webpage to learn more about their resources.
Join a Volunteer Lawyer Program
All volunteer lawyers programs serve veterans and their families on civil legal needs such as family, housing, consumer debt and more. Connect with your local program.
Representing Washington Veterans: Basic Legal and Cultural Concepts
This guide introduces attorneys to the basic concepts of culture and law that underpin effective assistance of veterans.
Resources for Your Clients
The Attorneys General Military and Veteran Legal Resource Guide
This guide summarizes in one place some of the many legal rights, protections, and resources available to Washington’s military service members, veterans, and their families.
Northwest Justice Project Veterans Project
NJP’s Veterans Project provides free legal services for civil problems that are barriers to housing, employment, and self-sufficiency. Veterans can call the toll free, statewide Veterans Project number: 1-855-NJP-VETS (855-657-8387). Please share this information with your colleagues or any veterans you may know. For more information, visit their website.
This isn’t an exclusive list. What resources do you want your fellow lawyers to know about? Tell us in the comments!