With so many veterans living below or just above the poverty line, lawyers can make a difference by helping resolve their legal problems and turning their lives around, the incoming president of the American Bar Association says.
Atlanta lawyer Linda Klein, who will be sworn in as president of the world's largest legal
organization on Monday, is embarking on an ambitious plan to provide free legal aid to as many veterans as possible.
On two occasions over the next year -- once close to Veteran's Day, the other close to Memorial Day -- she will call on lawyers across the country to spend a day providing pro bono legal services to veterans.
"Most of the problems that veterans have involve family law -- that’s about 80 percent of it," Klein said in a recent interview. "Some kind of divorce, child support, domestic issue. Another major problem veterans have involve creditors – liens, landlord-tenant issues. There is so much we can do to help."
Klein has also appointed a commission that will seek to determine what the legal community can do now to help veterans and what it can do in the long term.
"I am tremendously excited to be a part of this," said Tulsa, Okla., attorney Dwight Smith, who will co-chair the committee. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to try and make things better for people who are called upon to defend our country."
To read more about Klein and her veterans' initiative, please go to our story on myajc.com.