March 27, 2003
Volunteer Lawyers Sought to Assist with Military Assistance ProgramThe Philadelphia Bar Association today announced a plan to provide free legal help to America's military personnel and their families who have been called to active duty because of the war with Iraq.
"As lawyers and members of the community, we want to do what we can do to help at this time," said Chancellor Audrey C. Talley. "We support the men and women of the armed services and our talents and energies are available to those who need assistance."
The Military Assistance Program will be in conjunction with the American Bar Association's "Operation Enduring LAMP." The Philadelphia MAP program will operate through the local Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service.
Talley said that volunteer lawyers are currently being recruited for the new program and noted that two of the city's largest law firms, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP and Blank Rome LLP have already offered their services. "We're off to a good start and we expect many other firms and lawyers to participate. There is a great deal of willingness to help," the Chancellor added.
Talley said the new program will help service personnel and their families with legal problems relating to family law, estate planning, tax, employment, consumer, debtor/creditor, immigration and insurance. She said the Association is seeking volunteer attorneys with expertise in those areas as well as experience with the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, Uniformed Service Employment and Re-Employment Act and Servicemen's Group Life Insurance. The only requirements for attorneys wishing to participate are that they be in active practice and have malpractice insurance.
"The Philadelphia Bar Association supports our military personnel just as we also support the right of free expression for all Americans during this difficult time," the Chancellor explained. "I do not believe that these two goals are mutually exclusive. Rather, they are complementary. As lawyers I think we understand that the right of free expression is part of what the allied forces are defending," she concluded.
Applications can be downloaded from the Web site by clicking HERE . For additional information, contact Charles Klitsch, the Bar Association's assistant director for public and legal services, at (215) 238-6326 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.