Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010
MBA volunteer attorneys offer free legal advice and information to veterans, and families of veterans during the Nov. 17 Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer program.
Photos by Bill Archambeault.
Army reservist and other volunteers answer veterans’ legal questions
As part of the twice-a-year Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer Program, a
dozen volunteer attorneys answered 68 calls on Nov. 17 from
veterans seeking help with their legal problems.
"We were able to answer every call that came in to the Veterans
Dial-A-Lawyer Program," said LRS/Public Services Manager Claudia J.
Paid for with a grant from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the
philanthropic partner of the Massachusetts Bar Association,
volunteers answered calls primarily related to family law issues
and veterans' benefits. The Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer Program is part
of the MBA's Serving Our Veterans in the Law effort.
One of the regular volunteers for the Dial-A-Lawyer Program is
Richard A. Sugarman, an Air Force veteran and current U.S. Army
Reserve major in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, assigned to
the 804th Medical Brigade headquarters based at Fort
Sugarman, who has been mobilized with the Army since last
February, will be deploying to Iraq in early 2011.
"The MBA Dial-A-Lawyer programs in general (veterans and
non-veterans) are a great way for attorneys to help a large number
of people in need of legal advice without incurring a large time
commitment," Sugarman said, noting that the breadth of issues a
volunteer lawyer handles in one night can be "fascinating."
"As a veteran and current Army reservist myself, I am especially
drawn to wanting to help other veterans," he said. "With the state
of economy as it is, coupled with the surge in the number of
veterans facing legal issues, there is a great need to help these
veterans. The Veterans DAL programs provide an avenue to help the
veterans in an efficient and very beneficial way."
Representatives from the Department of Veterans Services were on
hand to help the volunteers with any questions that come up.
"We appreciate the funding through the Massachusetts Bar
Foundation and the partnership we have with the Department of
Veterans Services and Shelter Legal Services," said Elizabeth A.
O'Neil, the MBA's director of Community and Public Services. "The
Massachusetts Bar Association is committed to assisting veterans
with their legal problems."
The next program, which has not been scheduled, will be held in
the spring. Attorneys wishing to volunteer for the next program
should [e-mail lrs] or call (617) 338-0556.