Meetings and Events

'Serving Those Who Served' Seminar, April 29, 2016
Sponsored by Penn State Fayette, the Fayette County Bar Association and the Westmoreland Bar Association, a seminar titled “Serving Those Who Served: Veteran Benefits, Programs and Legal Issues” is being held at Penn State Fayette on April 29. Get more information about the event.

17th Annual Law Week Event Features Documentary on Veterans, Feb. 29, 2016

The 17th Annual Law Week at the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society of the Community College of Philadelphia, co-sponsored by the PBA Pro Bono Office, featured the premiere of the documentary titled “Our Way Home: Transitioning from the Front Lines to the Homefront” on Feb. 29. It shows the homecoming stories of U.S. veterans from World War II to the present. Get more information on the documentary at www.ourwayhomeforvets.org. The film showing was followed by a panel discussion moderated by PBA Military and Veterans Committee Co-Chair Wesley R. Payne IV, shown above at far left, an army veteran and a partner at the White and Williams LLP law firm in Philadelphia. Issues addressed by the film and the panel included, “How has the culture changed the way we view what was traditionally known as ‘shell shock,' the serious disorder that effects 7.7 million Americans every day?"; "How can society help ease the transitions of our veterans back into home life?”; and, most importantly, "Where can veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) get help?” Panelists included Alexis Werner, second from right in the photo, who started the nonprofit Seeds of Hope as a high school student struggling to understand the issues faced by her stepfather on his return from Afghanistan. The documentary is her third project in her personal effort to find her own way home. Bob McMahon, a Vietnam veteran and co-founder and chairman of the Veterans National Education Program, and Eric R. Cohen, a clinician who specializes in PTSD and vets, rounded out the panel. Co-sponsored by the Veteran’s Center of the Community College of Philadelphia and the PBA Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, the session highlighted the importance of veterans sharing and others listening to their stories of returning home. With 22 vets committing suicide every day, the documentary and panel were both powerful reminders of the very difficult transition many of our veterans face.

DCBA Free Training for Member Certification to Accept Veterans’ Disability Appeals Cases, April 23, 2015
The Dauphin County Bar Association holds training for DCBA members free of charge to become certified to accept veterans’ disability appeals cases on April 25, 2-5:30 p.m., at the DCBA, Harrisburg. Get more information.

Dauphin County Bar Association Unveiled Veterans Disability Referral Service, Dec. 3, 2013
Dec. 3, 2013, marked a celebration more than three years in the planning as the Dauphin County Bar Association (DCBA) unveiled its Veterans Disability Referral Service, which it created in partnership with the PBA Military and Veterans’ Affairs (MVA) Committee and the PBA Pro Bono Office. Twenty-two local lawyer recruits freshly trained in October by retired Widener Law professor Tom Reed and Harrisburg attorney Jeremiah Underhill, both MVA Committee members, are now serving veterans in the midstate region. Underhill, who ran Widener's Harrisburg Veterans Law Clinic from 2007 until its closure in 2010, had been trying to organize a successor service to help vets with appeals ever since. Under the new program, and according to government guidelines, prospective clients must have been denied VA disability benefits and be ready to appeal those refusals before attorneys in the referral program can offer help. Veterans whose incomes are at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for free aid and government-set contingency fee rates will apply for less needy clients. Ten percent of the income from contingency fees is to go back into the program. Underhill notes the importance of representation: "If a person has an attorney, they're 25 times more likely to get a positive outcome." Veterans in need of help and lawyers interested in joining the program can call the DCBA at 717-232-7536. Pictured below are Underhill (front, fourth from left), Dauphin County Bar Executive Liz Simcox (front, fifth from left) and other leaders of the DCBA program at a reception in honor of the program.

Veterans Disability Referral Service Training in Harrisburg, Oct. 4, 2013
Professor Tom Reed and Jeremiah Underhill conduct Veterans Disability Referral Service Training at the Dauphin County Bar Association, Harrisburg, on Oct. 4. Go to the county bar website for information and to register.

Pennsylvania Service Connect Team Event in Harrisburg, Sept. 22, 2012
The Pennsylvania Service Connect Team (PSC) is a new initiative developed by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help former servicemen and servicewomen overcome difficulties in returning to civilian life. Read the announcement and invitation to the PSC's First Annual Service, Support & Resource Showcase Event, to be held Sept. 22.

Pennsylvania Veterans Museum Law Clinic Wills for Veterans Event, Media, Pa., March 24, 2012

Committee/Section Day, March 31, 2011
    Attendees
    Final Report
    Army OneSource Materials
        Information
        PowerPoint Presentation

Practice Before the Department of Veterans Affairs Pamphlet for PBI CLE, Aug. 26, 2011

Flag Day CLE, June 14, 2011
Come participate in the Pennsylvania Bar Institute presentation of the PBA’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee Desktop Military Reference Training, the major training effort for the Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Pro Bono Program which has helped nearly two thousand soldiers, veterans and their families over the past decade. The training will be held all day on Flag Day, June 14, 2011, in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and sent out across the commonwealth by satellite. Join attorneys and judges who will be presenting and learning about the legal issues that impact active, guard and reserve armed forces.

Additionally, the program is meant to continue to encourage statewide pro bono programs to assist our armed forces with legal matters that affect them and their families. The PBA MVA Committee has worked closely with the National Veterans Education Program out of Media, Pennsylvania, the home of the Veterans Museum, as well as with Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge where the Medal of Honor Gardens have been rehabilitated with PBA MVA assistance.

Practising Law Institute Free Webcast, 'Advocating for Veterans: the Basics on Benefits, Discharge Upgrades and Cultural Competency,' May 6, 2011

PBI CLE on Practice Before the Department of Veterans Affairs, Aug. 12, 2010

PBA MVA on Veterans Day at the National Constitution Center, Nov. 11, 2010
The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee will be featured at the National Constitution Center on Veteran’s Day as its Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Program (LAMP) helps military personnel and veteran get legal assistance shares resources during the day. Wes Payne, Chair of the Philadelphia area LAMP effort, will be available during the day to highlight the PBA’s commitment to those who serve now and have served in the past. Find out more about the day’s event.

LAMP programs were started at the request of the Armed Forces with Bar Associations throughout the nation being asked to organize civilian attorney pro bono programs to provide legal assistance to deployed and mobilized military personnel and their families. The Pennsylvania Bar Association's Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP) Pro Bono Project is a program of the PBA’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. It connects active-duty military personnel to free legal assistance for civil legal issues beyond the scope of services provided by a military legal assistance office. LAMP is designed to help our service men and women, and veterans, make sure their legal affairs are in order and to plan for their families when active duty service personnel are absent. LAMP provides legal assistance in estate planning, employment, consumer, debtor/creditor, housing, immigration, family law and taxes. LAMP also provides assistance with Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and more.

The PBA MVA runs the LAMP program through the PBA Pro Bono Office and is chaired by Montgomery County lawyer and retired naval Captain Cheryl L. Austin and Harrisburg attorney Laurel Hettinger Fedak. The Pennsylvania Bar Association, through its Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Program (LAMP), has been answering the call of our servicemembers and veterans since 2002 and has helped more than 2000 individuals and families during that time at no cost to those requesting aid.

Dec. 3, 2009, Committee/Section Day Agenda

PBA Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee Takes Part in 2009 Veterans Summit