Sunday, May 17, 2009

Massachusetts Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP)

The legal community in Massachusetts provides Legal Assistance to Military Personnel in a variety of ways.

For the Warrior Community

All Members

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office provides a free Veterans' Resource Guide, "one central location where you can find information about resources available to veterans, military service members, and their families." It's over 100 pages of helpful legal and other information focused on one topic:
"If you are a veteran or are currently serving in the United States Military, including the National Guard or Reserves, there are laws designed to protect you against discrimination in employment, help you avoid credit or foreclosure problems, and maximize your healthcare, disability, and education benefits."
Get it here.

Active Duty

Active duty service members may wish to go first to Armed Forces Legal Assistance's online database to "locate active duty legal activities offering general legal services within the continental United States". Here is a list of AFLA offices in Massachusetts.


General-Purpose Resources

Servicemembers, veterans and their families are of course eligible to use the same resources as anyone else.

Private Practice Attorneys

Typically, a lawyer in private practice will listen to your situation for 15 or 20 minutes, then give you an idea about how to proceed, in general terms, without charging you anything. If the matter is something the lawyer can help you with, but must charge for, sometimes you can work out a military-family discount, especially if you are organized and easy to work with. The Findlaw website has a city-by-city list of lawyers interested in representing active-duty military personnel, military reservists, and veterans here.

For Lawyers

  • The Massachusetts Bar Association does not appear to have a section or committee focussed on legal assistance to military personnel; its Access to Justice Section may be the nearest match. 
  • MBA's Volunteer Opportunities Menu refers to assisting veterans with legal issues. If someone can get me more information on this, I'll gladly add it to this post.
It is very likely that there are other Massachusetts programs, sponsored by local bar associations, law schools, and others, through which lawyers and other legal services professionals can help our warrior community. Anyone with more information on these or other programs are invited to contact me; the most convenient way is to add in a comment below. The purpose is service!

Massachusetts-Specific Statutes

See also

No comments: