Pennsylvania offers several options for Legal Assistance for Military Personnel and their families. The participating organizations have programs to provide assistance and would welcome additional volunteer attorneys to provide service to members of our armed forces and their families. Details on the programs and how to apply for service or volunteer are below.
General information on Legal Assistance for the Military and information on programs serving military personnel and their families in other states is available from the American Bar Association on the ABA Homefront website.
Pennsylvania Bar Association
The Pennsylvania Bar Association has a statewide referral service in place. Assistance is provided to reservists and families in SSCRA, USERRA, and SGLI. Cases in the system are reviewed by JAGC lawyer. Free CLE training materials are available to volunteers.
To apply for service or to volunteer, contact:
100 South Street
Harrisburg, PA 17108-0186
800/932-0311 ext. 2236
Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (LASP) Veterans Advocacy Project
Legal Aid of Southeastern PA’s Veterans Advocacy Project provides client-centered, trauma-informed, culturally-competent legal services to veterans experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, income insecurity, and those living with disabilities in our community. We can assist a veteran regardless of how long they served, component of service (active, reserve, National Guard), or discharge status. LASP can help veterans with:
Prospective veteran clients can contact LASP's Veterans Advocacy Helpline at 610-283-0884.
LASP provides free civil legal aid for low-income, vulnerable people in Bucks, Chester, Delaware & Montgomery counties
Veterans Justice Project - Neighborhood Legal Services
Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) dedicates an attorney to represent veterans and their families. It also works with:
- PAServes of Greater Pittsburgh to connect veterans with local resources in the Pittsburgh area.
- Veterans' Service Organizations and similar agencies to help with basic needs.
- Law schools, the Veteran’s Clinic of the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership and the Private Bar.
To apply for service from the project please use NLS's secure, easy-to-use Legal Issue Triage Tool to help NLS understand the legal issues that you are facing. Your responses will be used to help connect you with a member of the NLS staff that can provide you with the legal help you’re seeking.
Allegheny County Bar Association
The Allegheny County Bar Association offers free legal consultations to the immediate family members of military personnel (including National Guard and U.S. Reserves), who are Allegheny County residents and who have been called to active duty as a result of the present conflict with Iraq.
The program, which is intended to complement services provided by the military branches, is being coordinated through the law offices of Timothy P. O'Brien, Esquire, an ACBA member and a retired major, assistant staff judge advocate, 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania Army National Guard).
Immediate family members can call the O'Brien Law Offices at 412-232-4400. They will then be referred to an attorney who specializes in the applicable area of the law and will receive a free one-hour consultation. The program will continue as long as the military family member is on active duty, and it is an extension of the service that the ACBA offered during the Gulf War.
Military Affairs Committee - Luzerne County
If you are in the Armed Services or are in the National Guard or Reserves and are called to active duty, the Military Affairs Committee may be a source of assistance in finding legal advice to matters related to your status, including such things as questions with your job, apartment lease, mortgage, auto loan, will, insurance and the like.
HOW TO GET HELP:
- E-Mail: Law.Library@luzernecounty.org
- Telephone: (570) 822-6712
- Visit the office at: Wilkes-Barre Law & Library Association Luzerne County Courthouse, Room 23 200 North River Street Wilkes-Barre, PA 18621
Philadelphia Bar Association
Through the Military Assistance Program, volunteer attorneys provide free legal assistance, regardless of the income of the service man or woman. Areas of law include SSCRA, USERRA, SGLI, wills and estate planning, debtor/creditor, employment, consumer, housing, domestic, immigration and taxes. In addition to the telephone number listed below, clients may call a special toll free number: 877/302-3588.
Family members of deployed and mobilizing military personnel are eligible for the same services through the Military Assistance Program, regardless of income.
All volunteer attorneys must be licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and carry legal malpractice insurance.
To apply for service or to volunteer, contact:
1101 Market Street, 11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Homeless Advocacy Project
The Homeless Advocacy Project of the Philadelphia Bar Association established the Veterans Project in 2001, aimed at meeting the complex legal needs of homeless veterans.
HAP holds a monthly legal clinic at the Perimeter, a daytime drop-in center for homeless veterans. The Perimeter is operated by the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center, servicing an estimated 3,000 homeless veterans living in the Delaware Valley.
For more information please call 215-523-9595, or email HAP staff attorney Michael Taub at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans Law Clinic - Widener University School of Law
The Veterans Law Clinic offers free legal aid to veterans living at 150% of poverty level who have been denied benefits by the Regional Office and wish to take an appeal to the Board of Veterans Affairs (BVA).
Case Evaluation. Staff or volunteer attorneys with veterans benefits law experience assisted by law student interns will review your case and advise you on your chances of success with the BVA.
Representation. If you meet the qualifications for representation (150% of poverty level), and your case has a reasonable probability of success, a VLC staff attorney or volunteer lawyer will work with you.
People. The VLC program has a director and two staff attorneys assisted by unpaid volunteers who give their time and knowledge of veterans' law as part of Widener University School of Law's outreach to Delaware and Pennsylvania veterans who otherwise would not have a lawyer at a critical time in their lives.
Action. If you live in Delaware or Pennsylvania, and your Regional Office has denied your claim, and you do not know where to turn, call the Veterans Law Clinic Program at 302-477-2090, 302-477-2116 or 717-541-3800 for an appointment.