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LAMP casts a light on the issues of armed forces, veterans

U.S.S. Midway

Law students who are interested in military law or providing legal assistance to active servicemembers, veterans and their families should consider joining the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP).

The mission of the ABA LAMP Committee is to:

    1. Foster the continued growth of the military legal assistance programs;
    1. Promote the delivery of legal services to military personnel and their family members and to persons accompanying the armed forces outside the United States on their personal legal affairs; and
  1. Maintain close liaison with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security (with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard), the military services, bar associations and appropriate committees of the association to enhance the scope, quality and delivery of free or affordable legal services to eligible legal assistance clients.

Committed to delivering legal assistance and services to servicemembers, veterans, and their families, the ABA LAMP Committee supports several great initiatives:

ABA Home Front

ABA Home Front is an online legal education and referral resource center.  It features a national directory of legal programs and organizations providing in-person consultation and representation for military families in need of legal help.

ABA Military Pro Bono Project

The ABA Military Pro Bono Project is a national network of pro bono attorneys providing free legal services to active-duty military families. The project accepts case referrals from military attorneys on behalf of junior-enlisted, active-duty military personnel and their families with civil legal problems, and it places these cases with pro bono attorneys where the legal assistance is needed. The project is also the platform for Operation Stand-By, through which military attorneys may seek attorney-to-attorney guidance.

ABA Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network

The American Bar Association Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network (ABA VCAN) provides pro bono legal representation to unrepresented veterans in need of assistance in preparation of disability compensation claims. ABA VCAN works closely with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure that veterans have legal representation that will complete their claims packages for expedited review by the VA — at no cost to the veterans.

The ABA LAMP Committee is a small, dedicated group of attorneys from a wide range of backgrounds that are committed to fostering the growth of military legal assistance programs. The committee is chaired by U.S. Army Major General (ret.) Clyde J. “Butch” Tate.  Retired from the U.S. Army JAG Corps after 31 years of service, which ended as the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army, General Tate currently serves as Associate General Counsel for Lockheed Martin Government Affairs.  General Tate said that he wanted to be involved with LAMP because as a young military lawyer in his first assignment out of law school, the LAMP Committee provided invaluable assistance to him and his clients. Today, he says he now has a chance to pay it all back.

Interested in meeting more members of the LAMP Committee and joining the conversation about legal needs for military members and veterans? Join the ABA LAMP Network!

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Lauren Ritter Lauren Ritter is the ABA Law Student Division liaison to the Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP). She is a second year student at the University of Richmond School of Law, where she is a research assistant and a Lead Articles Editor for Volume XX of the Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest. Lauren joined LAMP because she was interested in joining a network of attorneys who are committed to providing legal assistance to military personnel and their families.