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August 21, 2015

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Friday 5: Reasons to Get Involved with the Washington First Responder Will Clinic

by WSBA
A group of coworkers sitting in an office and having a meeting
How your volunteer service helps Washington’s first responders.

A group of coworkers sitting in an office and having a meetingHave you heard of the Washington First Responder Will Clinic? This volunteer-driven program provides support, services, and resources to eligible first responders and their families. Here’s how it works:

  • First responders complete a questionnaire prior to their clinic appointment.
  • Licensed attorneys and support clerks review and discuss the questionnaires with the first responders at the clinic.
  • Estate planning documents will be drafted and reviewed on-site.
  • First responders have the opportunity to sign the estate planning documents in the presence of a notary and witnesses. They leave with their original, signed estate planning documents in hand.

But it’s not just the first responders who benefit from the clinic — you can, too! Here’s what volunteering at the clinic can offer you.

Networking. Estate planning tends to have a fair amount of solo practitioners, and this is a chance to meet other solos and talk shop. If you are a law student, it is a great way to meet attorneys who are out there practicing. It is also a great opportunity to meet first responders and learn more about their work (and maybe hear some memorable stories).

Free coffee and donuts. Yes, it’s true: we have free coffee and delicious pastries at every clinic — and they are for our first responders and volunteers. If you’re worried about eating healthy, you can save that for another day, because this is for a good cause.

Meet your Facebook friends in real life. I assume you’re already following the WFRWC on Facebook (click the link, if not), but now you’ll get the chance to meet some of the people behind the page. And don’t worry, this is not some catfishing expedition — your love of volunteering will not go unrequited.

Save on taxes. Since the WFRWC is a 501(c)(3), you can make a tax-deductible gift to the program and pay less on your taxes (fine print: talk to your CPA or other advisor to determine how this applies to your individual situation).

A chance to say, “Thank you.” Numerous studies show that people who express their gratitude have a higher quality of life (better sleep, lower stress, etc.) What better way to show your appreciation for the risks first responders take on behalf of all of us? Providing them with peace of mind and preparedness through estate planning is good for them — and for you.

Our next clinics will be held on Sept. 26 in Spokane and Oct. 10 in Seattle and we’re looking for volunteers! Licensed attorneys, law clerks/paralegals/legal assistants familiar with basic estate planning (or willing to learn), notaries, witnesses (ages 18 and older), and registration personnel are all needed. To learn more about the program or sign up, visit our website.

Read more from Pro Bono, Volunteering
1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Aug 21 2015

    I loved volunteering with the First Responder Wills Clinic for years. You left off one of my favorite benefits: Law clerks get an opportunity to hear client interviews and learn about how the lawyer identifies and addresses issues. I think the collaborative nature of the clinic is one of the coolest things about it! Nice blog post Ford.

    Reply

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