Operation Enduring LAMP

Operation Enduring LAMP (Legal Assistance for Military Personnel) is a program of the State Bar of Texas (SBOT) whereby local bar members provide pro bono legal assistance to include some court actions, to qualifying active duty military, members of the Reserves and National Guard called to active duty, and their families, occasioned by the 9/11 tragedy and subsequent action in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those not qualifying for pro bono are referred to an attorney who understands the military. The program is provided by the SBOT’s Texas Lawyers Care Department and Military Law Section.

Most cases today involve divorce, child support, custody, or child visitation, occasioned by the stress occasioned by repeated deployments, especially for the Army.

Attorneys are encouraged to volunteer for this pro bono program. Reserve or National Guard Judge Advocates may receive points for this legal assistance. Volunteers should send an e-mail to the address below with their name, address, phone, fax, areas of practice, and prior military experience, if any.

A local bar association can arrange a SBOT-provided free four hour Continuing Legal Education program with course book to upgrade skills of local attorneys in laws not normally found in their practice. The subjects cover the new Service Members Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App §§501-596) signed by the President on 19 December 2003 (formerly the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act), The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, (38 U.S.C. §§4301-4333) Military Estate Planning, and Military Benefits.

Local Bars provide meeting space. Local attorneys who agree to do pro bono legal assistance, maintain contact with local Reserve Centers and National Guard Armories/ military bases to provide legal assistance at the Centers/Armories on a routine basis, or in the attorney’s individual office, as appropriate, or accept referrals from the State Bar LAMP office. Legal assistance, at a minimum, involves counseling, telephone calls, and letter writing, for signature by the client or the attorney, and in some cases, court representation. Any out of pocket expenses are to be paid by the client.

The CLE program can be initiated by calling the undersigned 800-204-2222 x1855 or
512-415-9176. Questions can also be e-mailed to probono@texasbar.com.

 

Helpful Links

LAMP website

State Bar of Texas website
Click on "Pro Bono" then "LAMP"

Army JAGCNet
Helpful SCRA Reference: JA-260

Texas Bar Journal
The Texas Bar Journal interviewed Col. (Ret.) Spencer for a wonderful article about Operation Enduring LAMP which ran in their July 2008 edition.  Read the Access to Justice Pro Bono Champ article.