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November 13, 2017

Commit to Support Those Who Served Our Country

by contributor
Citizens being sworn in at a courthouse
This Veterans Day WSBA encourages legal professionals to help remove e barriers facing veterans returning home.

Citizens being sworn in at a courthouseThere are almost 600,000 U.S. military veterans in Washington state. Many of them face challenges and legal barriers to successfully reintegrate into civilian life. The Washington State Bar Association encourages legal professionals to help remove those barriers. Here are some ways to help and resources for you:

WSBA Call to Duty Initiative
WSBA Call to Duty is designed to inform, inspire, and involve volunteer attorneys and other legal professionals in meeting the legal needs of veterans and their families. We strive to provide you the tools and training to put your legal skills to work. There are two parts to the Initiative: the Pledge and the Day of Service.
The Pledge involves promising to help a veteran with their legal case. There are many ways to fulfill this pledge — participate in a Day of Service, take a veteran’s case, or volunteer with organizations that serve vets. Take the Pledge today.

The Day of Service welcomes volunteer attorneys and other legal profession of all experience levels to be a part of serving Washington military veterans. Volunteers attend a free CLE and participate in a legal clinic on a specific legal issue. Watch for information about upcoming Days of Service in Snohomish, Kitsap, Jefferson, Benton and Franklin Counties in 2018.

New to Serving Veterans?
The military has a distinct culture and unique legal issues. There are many great resources to introduce you to the cultural and legal issues, including the Washington State Attorney General’s Military & Veteran Legal Resource Guide and Representing Washington Veterans: Basic Legal and Cultural Concepts. The Washington State Veterans Bar Association and the WSBA Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section are also valuable resources for educating the public and legal professionals on issues relating to veterans. Other resources are listed on our website. In addition, WSBA CLE has two upcoming seminars that will focus on Military issues:

  • The Alpha-Bravo-Charlies of Working with Vets — Dec. 5, 2017
    Join us for a half-day program focused on veterans’ legal issues. Come away with an increased awareness of key considerations and aspects of the veteran experience to inform advocacy.
  • Often Overlooked: Family Law Issues — Dec. 13, 2017
    Expert speakers will dive into the unique cross-section of family law and the military and explore the particular rules that apply to family law matters in the military context. They’ll also cover the complicated ethical issues in appointing a Guardian Ad Litem when a party to the matter is mentally disabled.

Spend some time this Veterans Day by making a plan and commitment to serve those who served our country. For more information on opportunities and resources for serving veterans, please contact publicservice@wsba.org.

The Washington State Bar Foundation ensures WSBA has the resources to lead on issues of justice, public service, and diversity. As part of WSBA’s strategic goal to enhance the culture of service among members, we are pleased to offer the WSBA Call to Duty Program as a public service opportunity.

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