Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oklahoma Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP)

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

For the Warrior Community

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 for the state of Oklahoma.

Veterans may wish to check the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, the Oklahoma Offices of the Federal VA and the several Veterans Centers in Oklahoma; while I don't see lawyer-specific programs there, they do offer help with a variety of problems. Veterans having difficulties with the law should investigate Tulsa's innovative Veterans Court (see the MTV Report Here!) Incarcerated veterans should check out this Oklahoma-specific guide.

General-Purpose Resources

Servicemembers, veterans and their families are of course eligible to use the same resources as anyone else.
  • OK Law is a good, general-purpose place to start looking for law help in Oklahoma
  • Legal Aid OK helps eligible low-income people and senior citizens with civil legal problems.
  • The Oklahoma State Bar Association lists more such resources on its helpful Low Cost or No Cost Legal Assistance page

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. If the matter is something the lawyer can help you with, but must charge for, sometimes you can work out a military-family discount (it does no harm to ask!) The Findlaw website has a city-by-city list of lawyers in Oklahoma who are interested in representing active-duty military personnel, military reservists, and veterans. Also, there are lawyer referral services run by the Oklahoma State Bar Association and by the Tulsa County Bar Association.

For Lawyers

According to Operation Enduring Lamp, the Oklahoma Bar Association has
"...a Committee, which has been coordinating with the local military units. Bar maintains list of volunteer lawyers who will provide pro bono services to service members and/or dependents.
While I have not found a link to that Committee or a Section serving our warrior community, this growing field of practice might provide an opportunity to new or experienced lawyers looking to take the lead; contact the Oklahoma Bar Association.

If you're interesting in pro bono generally, check out ProBonoNet/OK.

It is likely that there are other Oklahoma programs, sponsored by local bar associations, law schools, and others. 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!

See also

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