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Cooley Law School's Service to Soldiers: Legal Assistance Referral Program

Since 2007, Cooley Law School's Service to Soldiers: Legal Assistance Referral Program has been offering free legal assistance to Michigan military personnel who are deploying to, serving in, or within six months of having returned from combat areas and who are experiencing non-military legal concerns.

This program help's soldiers with civilian legal matters and complements the veterans' disability assistance offered by the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law.

Volunteer lawyers in Michigan are matched with service members or their families needing help. With help from a grant from the Michigan State Bar Foundation and from the Ingham County Bar Foundation, the program has:

  • recruited 100+ attorneys from across Michigan to represent enlisted military personnel free of charge;
  • drafted 250 wills and powers of attorneys for deploying troops;
  • assisted over a dozen deployed, enlisted personnel with civilian legal matters;
  • provided free legal representation to 115 returning troops for family law, creditor, insurance, and landlord/tenant issues; and
  • allowed Cooley students, alumni, staff, and Michigan attorneys the opportunity to give back to those who have sacrificed so much for our country.

If you  are interested in getting a referral for a pro bono
attorney, please contact:
•  Michigan: Kathy Lawrence, (517) 371-5140, ext. 2837 or lawrenck@cooley.edu
•  Florida: Professor Ron Trosty at (561) 254-5872 or email trostyr@cooley.edu


If you are an attorney who would like to volunteer your talents, please contact:
•  Michigan: Heather Spielmaker, (517) 371-5140, ext. 4112 or spielmah@cooley.edu
•  Florida: Amy Bandow, (813) 419-5100, ext. 5108 or bandowa@cooley.edu

  • State(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Michigan
  • Area of law: Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy, Employment, Family & Juvenile, Foreclosure, Homeless, Housing, Public Benefits, Veterans
  • Populations Served: Service members and their families
  • Opportunities For: Law Students, Lawyers, Mentors
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Flexible
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: No
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: No
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Types of projects in need of Pro Bono help: Client counseling (e.g., brief advice), Draft legal documents (e.g., briefs), Litigation: Trial/Direct Representation, Mentor volunteer lawyers or law students
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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