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This Week’s Pro Bono Success Story

September 27, 2010

Though the Military Pro Bono Project’s mission is to serve as a resource to military legal assistance attorneys seeking pro bono representation for their clients, the Project occasionally receives requests for help that do not neatly fit into the standard case referral but are sympathetic and provide opportunities for volunteer service by our attorneys.

The Project was recently contacted by a coordinator with the military’s Survivor Outreach Services who was working with the widow of a U.S. Marine. The Marine had committed suicide, and the widow was having difficulty accessing survivor benefits. As a result of this and the subsequent loss of her job, her financial situation had spiraled out of control, and she had been left with no alternative but to seek bankruptcy protection. (Adding insult to injury, her former landlord sued her for thousands of dollars in cleanup costs relating to the suicide.) She was not, however, able to afford to hire an attorney to assist her.

The Project put out a request to the volunteer roster on behalf of the widow, and within hours several attorneys had stepped forward to provide pro bono counsel to help the widow put her financial problems behind her so that she could move forward with her life. This case is another example of the motivation and commitment of the Project’s volunteers to do what they can to lend a hand to military families, especially when legal situations can be most difficult.

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