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January 20, 2016

7

A Call to Duty: Washington State Veterans Bar Association

by WSBA
American flag and Spokane Courthouse
A Spokane attorney’s Call to Duty pledge led to joining the Washington State Veterans Bar Association, the state’s newest minority bar association.

American flag and Spokane CourthouseA Spokane attorney took his Call to Duty pledge to the next level as a steering committee member of the recently formed the Washington State Veterans Bar Association.


In November, the WSBA’s Call to Duty initiative celebrated its second anniversary – two years of inspiring lawyers in Washington to volunteer their time to meet the legal needs of our state’s military veterans and their families. More than 300 of the Bar’s members have taken the Call to Duty Pledge and volunteered their time to serve those who served our country.

A Spokane attorney took his pledge to the next level as a steering committee member of the recently formed the Washington State Veterans Bar Association (WSVBA), the state’s newest minority bar association. It was founded in 2014 by Bellevue attorney John Tymczyszyn and John Varga, the association’s current chair.

Mike Casey is a U.S. Army veteran who began serving in 1970 with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Korea DMZ. He also served with the 4th Infantry Division in the U.S. Five years later, he was honorably discharged as a captain. He has long been active in pro bono consultation and representation, and he strongly believes in our professional obligation to help serve those who have difficulty obtaining legal representation — a group that often includes military veterans and their families. Every person who has enlisted, been drafted, or accepted a commission has made an oath to put himself or herself in harm’s way for the benefit of society, he says, and it is our privilege as legal professionals to be able to return the favor.

Mike Casey

Mike Casey

Mike is especially enthusiastic about Spokane County District Court’s Veterans Court program, which provides a means to successfully rehabilitate veterans with less serious misdemeanor offenses by diverting them from the conventional criminal justice system and providing tools to help them successfully reintegrate back into society. The Spokane Veterans Forum – its motto: “No veteran left behind” – is an associated group of volunteer veterans and others (some, but not all, are attorneys). Forum members serve as mentors to men and women coming through the Veterans Court. Noting the success of this innovative program, Mike says he hopes to see it replicated in other jurisdictions around the state.

Mike is passionate about his fledgling minority bar association’s mission to serve fellow veterans in need of help, so much so that it didn’t take him long to persuade me to submit my own application to join. But WSVBA and Call to Duty aren’t the only ways Washington attorneys help veterans. There is a continuum of opportunities to serve, from occasional pro bono representation to working with WSBA’s Moderate Means program or focusing a practice on veterans’ benefits claims and employment discrimination.

A WSBA member since 1979, Mike dedicates his solo practice in Spokane to higher education law, and he is also a longtime adjunct professor at Gonzaga University School of Law.

Visit www.wsvba.org to learn more about Washington State Veterans Bar Association. Recommit, or commit for the first time today and take the 2016 WSBA Call to Duty Pledge and serve a veteran and their family!

Washington State Bar Foundation

WSBA FoundationCall to Duty and other WSBA public service programs are funded by charitable donations to the Washington State Bar Foundation. Learn more about the Foundation and contribute here.

See our previous Call to Duty posts:

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Michael J Casey
    Jan 21 2016

    Mike Casey here.I did not “found” or start the WSVBA,I joined it as a member about a year ago. John Tymczyszyn, Bellevue attorney,founded WSVBA a couple of years ago.It is his vision that drives the organization, along with current Chair, John Varga.
    Since others might note another error: I served with the 4th Infantry Division stateside, and with the 2nd Infantry Division at the Korea DMZ in 1974-75.
    The author of this piece,Mr Knutson, sent me his draft last summer,and all was accurate then.

    Reply
    • Jan 22 2016

      Thank you for your feedback! We’ve made corrections to the post above.

      Reply
  2. Jan 25 2016

    Is there a schedule for when the Lunch & Learn Events are and where they are held?

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Answering the Call to Serve: Veterans Helping Veterans | NWSidebar
  2. Answering the Call to Serve: Above and Beyond | NWSidebar
  3. How You Can Make a Difference this Veterans Day | NWSidebar

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