Mid-Missouri Legal Services was surprised and delighted to receive a check for $8,388.60 from the BCBA Young Lawyers Committee, even though the annual Chipping in for Charity Golf Tournament was rained out in October. With an inch and a half of rain falling between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day, and 8 inches during the prior 10 days, we assumed that the tournament would be completely doomed for 2014! But, of course, the YLC wouldn’t let a little rain get in the way and made it possible for golfers to play on fair weather days instead.
The BCBA-YLC has donated all or a portion of its annual golf tournament proceeds to MMLS for several years, and the funds have been used to initiate new projects, most recently the Veterans Law Project at the Truman V.A. Hospital. MMLS has a dedicated office at the V.A. Hospital two days per week and meets with veterans and/or their household members, many of whom are referred to MMLS by V.A. Hospital staff.
The Veterans Law Project started in mid-2013, so 2014 was its first full year of operation. In 2014, MMLS provided free legal services to 78 veterans and veteran household members, and 21 additional veteran cases are pending final resolution. In addition to providing free legal services to those clients, we met with 71 other veterans and made referrals to appropriate legal aid programs in other parts of Missouri and in other states, where the veteran’s problem needed to be litigated. YLC funding also has enabled MMLS to participate with the Missouri Bar in planning and executing veteran clinics across the state, staffed by pro bono attorneys, that have addressed and resolved legal problems of many veterans.
MMLS is very grateful to the Young Lawyers Committee for its commitment to our veterans and for making it possible for MMLS to serve them at the V.A. Hospital.