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ABA Military Pro Bono Project - 2014 Winter Newsletter - Military Attorneys

Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • ABA Military Pro Bono Project
  • Source: National > ABA Military Pro Bono Project

ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel

ABA Military Pro Bono Project
2014 Winter Newsletter
Military Attorneys


The ABA Military Pro Bono Project,, managed by the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP), accepts case referrals from military legal assistance offices anywhere in the world on behalf of junior-enlisted servicemembers with civil legal issues, and it places these cases with pro bono attorneys where the legal assistance is needed in the United States. The Project also includes Operation Stand-By, through which military attorneys may seek attorney-to-attorney advice from civilian attorneys for guidance to further assist their servicemember clients.

Read the latest information about the following:

ABA Military Pro Bono Project: Referring Cases

Thank you to those who have used the Military Pro Bono Project’s case referral system. The Project’s ongoing success depends on your continued participation. In 2013, the Project successfully placed over 200 pro bono cases with volunteer attorneys. Based on case-closing data provided by the Project’s volunteer attorneys, over 4,300 billable hours of pro bono service for our servicemembers, valued at over $1.2 million, were donated in 2013. Read some of the case stories to see how our volunteers are successfully helping our military families.

How can you submit a client’s case to the Military Pro Bono Project?

  • After registered on the Project’s website, you can submit case referral forms on behalf of your junior-enlisted servicemember clients. Log onto the Project’s website to learn more about submitting case referrals. Also, please review the Project’s referral guidelines, because we count on you to refer only the most meritorious and deserving clients.

Special thanks to the recipients of the 2013 ABA Military Pro Bono Project Outstanding Services Award, from the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP), for their extraordinary pro bono services through the Project.

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Operation Stand–By

The ABA Military Pro Bono Project also includes Operation Stand-By, through which you may contact civilian attorneys with legal questions relating to their geographic areas and substantive areas of expertise for attorney-to-attorney advice, so you can receive guidance that will help you further advise and assist your servicemember clients.

Civilian attorneys are eager to help you! Over 550 civilian attorneys across the nation have registered to participate. However, information from a previous survey indicates that approximately 70% of the civilian attorneys who are registered with Operation Stand-By would like to be contacted more frequently by military attorneys who need attorney-to-attorney guidance. In particular, those with expertise outside of family law are hoping to help more.

Please note the guidelines! The Operation Stand-By lists are accessible by military attorneys who are registered with the Military Pro Bono Project. Clients should not communicate directly with Operation Stand-By volunteers, you may not provide any information from the Operation Stand-By lists to your clients or other individuals, and you may not contact these attorneys to seek pro bono representation for your clients. Please read the Operation Stand-By guidelines.

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Description: ABA%20Home%20Front2

ABA Home Front is an online resource, on, designed to help military members, veterans, and their families find legal information, referrals, and representation for civil legal matters. The ABA Home Front website includes the following:

Directory of Programs

The Directory of Programs is a national, state-by-state guide to the free and low-cost legal service programs available to assist veterans, servicemembers, and their families with all types of civil legal problems. The Directory features contact information and descriptions for military legal assistance offices, legal aid and pro bono programs, lawyer referral services, and local military-specific legal programs.

Information Center

The Information Center features short, easily understood articles on matters of interest to military members, including: (1) considerations when hiring a lawyer; (2) eligibility for free services through military legal assistance offices; (3) family law matters; and (4) legal protections available under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

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Educational Resources

Upcoming Live CLE Programs

  • Webinar – February 25, 2014: The ABA is hosting a 90-minute live CLE webinar, Dependent Support Regulations of the U.S. Armed Forces,on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 12 p.m. CST. This presentation will be of interest and utility to all family law practitioners whose clients include active duty servicemembers or their families. It will address the mechanism by which estranged civilian spouses and their children can obtain financial support through the armed forces. Register!
  • Quantico, VA – March 6, 2014: The ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP) is hosting a FREE CLE program at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia on Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. This CLE program will focus on a broad spectrum of family law issues affecting military personnel, veterans, and their families. There will also be a presentation covering the latest developments in the military services’ response to sexual assault. Register!

Free Webcasts

Courtesy of the United States Air Force, the Project website provides the following free educational webcasts for its registered members:

  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act: Update and Practice (2012), presented by Col John S. Odom, Jr., USAF (Ret.).
  • Survivor Benefit Plan & Other Benefits, presented by Mark E. Sullivan, COL, USAR (Ret.) and Charles R. Raphun, LTC, USAR.

Useful Books

The men and women in uniform who risk their lives to defend our nation are targeted by certain types of sales, scams and abusive commercial practices with appalling frequency. They deserve better. This book, Ripped Off!, is an important tool to ensure that our military personnel are educated about these scams so that rip offs can be recognized and prevented. Written by Michael S. Archer, a retired Major in the US Marine Corps, this book is accessible to a wide audience that includes servicemembers, superior officers, military legal assistance attorneys and other lawyers, as well as military and civilian authorities. This book is available on the ABA Web Store.


American Bar Association Legal Guide for Military Families is the complete resource for servicemembers, veterans, and their families. This guide will help all servicemembers clarify their legal issues, understand the options, and locate assistance. Topics are presented in an easy-to-read format and every chapter includes a resources section with phone numbers, websites, and contacts to help servicemembers find answers and move forward. This book is available on the ABA Web Store.


A Judge's Benchbook for the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, by Colonel John S. Odom, Jr., USAF, Retired, is designed to acquaint judges of all levels regarding the provisions that protect servicemembers while they serve on active duty, because many judges are unfamiliar with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The Benchbook is available on the ABA Web Store.


Description: Sullivan Military Divorce Handbook

The new edition of The Military Divorce Handbook, by Mark E. Sullivan, is a timely and much–needed addition to a family lawyer's library. Both comprehensive and practical, it covers all aspects of representing servicemembers and their spouses in divorce in an accessible, easy–to–use format. This book is available on the ABA Web Store.

ABA Members may purchase these books at discounted prices!

Project's Online Library

Did you know that the Project has an online library filled with resources that focus on legal issues faced by servicemembers, veterans, and military family members? Log onto the website and visit the Library.

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Dialogue: News and Perspectives from the ABA Division for Legal Services

Read the latest article in Dialogue—the magazine of the ABA Division for Legal Services, which brings you news and topical information about the delivery of legal services to low and moderate income people—featured by the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP):

Would you be interested in writing an article for Dialogue? Review the Dialogue Writers' Guidelines or contact us at for more information.

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Free and Discounted ABA Memberships for Military Attorneys

ABA membership delivers resources that help Judge Advocates develop professionally both during their service and as they transition to civilian life.

FREE ABA Membership

Did you know that you are eligible for a free ABA membership if you are currently an active-duty Judge Advocate and have been licensed to practice law for five years or less? See further information about this membership offer!

Membership Discount

For those not eligible for a free membership, the ABA is offering a lower group membership rate for active-duty military lawyers, retired JAG officers, and reservists. Military lawyers can now join at the group rate for only $70 per year and pay individually through the online form.

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Thank you to the Project's Star Ranking Supporters!

The ABA Military Pro Bono Project depends on financial contributions from Project partners, law firms, corporations, and individuals to further its mission to connect active-duty servicemembers and their families to attorneys willing to donate their time to deliver high quality, free legal services. Financial support of the Project, through the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education, a 501(c)(3) entity, helps to ensure that our servicemembers receive the legal help that they need.

Special thanks to the following Star Ranking Supporters:

Five Stars
ABA Logo
Five Stars
Lockheed Martin
Mr. and Mrs. David C. Merjan

And thank you to all of our Star Ranking Supporters acknowledged on the Project website.

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