On November 14, 2012, the Dade County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (DCBA/YLS) held an event to draft wills, free of charge, for local low income veterans. The event was sponsored by the DCBA/YLS Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and LexisNexis, and was hosted by Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc.
“I appreciate this so much, thank you for your time,” said Phillip Daniels, a local veteran and father of three minor children, who received high quality legal services from experienced attorneys, free
of charge. Mr. Daniels can now rest assured that his children will be provided for in accordance with his wishes, should the worst happen.
The will drafting event was scheduled to coincide with Veterans Day. According to the United States Census, Miami-Dade County is home to more than 65,000 veterans. The local veteran community
has disproportionately high rates of unemployment and homelessness, and faces other unique challenges, such as reintegration following the end of their military service.
The event was organized by attorneys Liam McGivern (LSGMI), and Daniela Gordon (Hoffman & Hoffman, P.A.). “We are grateful to LSGMI for providing us with the facility for this event, to LexisNexis for providing the automated forms used by the pro bono attorneys in drafting the wills, and to each of the 20 pro bono attorneys and law students who volunteered for the event,” said
McGivern and Gordon.
Veterans advocacy is one of the priorities of LSGMI, the largest provider of broad based civil legal services for the poor in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. In addition to civil legal services provided
to the general low-income community, low-income veterans benefit from LSGMI’s Discharge Upgrade and Veteran Benefits Project, as well as a special program to keep veterans in their homes
and prevent veteran homelessness. For information on services, veterans can call (305) 576-0080.
The DCBA/YLS Pro Bono and Community Service Committee focuses on serving the most disenfranchised members of the South Florida community. Throughout the year, the committee hosts “Law Days,” where individuals can receive free legal advice on nearly any issue. It also organizes community service projects, like “suit drives” for inner-city youth who are interning for the first time at law firms and other businesses.