New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 08/31/06
CONTACT:Barbara S. Straczynski
Director of Communications
732-937-7524

NJSBA Announces New Military Legal Assistance Program

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ-As military personnel stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq prepare to return home, the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) is launching a new program to make their homecoming a little easier. Beginning Sept. 1, the NJSBA’s new Military Legal Assistance Program (MLAP) will provide free legal help to New Jersey military personnel who are members of the reserve components of the armed forces.

This pro bono program is established by the NJSBA through its Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, in conjunction with McCarter & English, LLP.

“Our armed forces continue to fight for freedom and democracy, and nothing should stop them, least of all the feeling that they and their families are left legally unprotected,” said William S. Greenberg, former chair of the NJSBA’s Military Law and Veterans Affairs Committee, a partner at McCarter & English, and a retired brigadier general.

This pro bono program, staffed by volunteer attorneys, will provide free legal assistance in three main areas: Family, Employment and Debtor-Creditor Law. To qualify for pro bono assistance through MLAP, a candidate must be:

a New Jersey resident;

a member of the reserve components of the armed forces (Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Navy Reserve, Marine Corp Reserve etc.);

and have been called to active duty and deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001.

“Soldiers returning from active duty face a barrage of issues that most civilians never encounter. They often need help with employment, finance, family issues that develop precisely because the soldier went away on active duty and is now trying to get back into civilian life,” said current Military Law and Veterans’ Affairs Chair Magdalena Padilla. The transition back and forth between military and civilian life can be awkward, confusing, and without proper legal assistance at times can also be detrimental.”

Persons eligible for assistance should call 1-888-541-1900. The program will refer members of the military who contact the NJSBA to volunteers qualified to assist them with their specific legal issues. Further information for participants and volunteers can be found at njsba.com, and select Pro Bono Resources from the Index on the left side of the page. For a limited time, the MLAP logo can be selected directly from the NJSBA home page to access the MLAP site.

It is predicted that of the 3,000 New Jersey residents deployed overseas, half of these individuals are now in the process of returning. Many of them will or have been adversely affected by reason of their status, change of status, or long deployment. There is an anticipated need for legal assistance for these military personnel.

The New Jersey State Bar Association, incorporated in 1899, is dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers and the public, to reforming and improving the legal system and to aiding in the administration of justice.

- NJSBA -.