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Legal Connection: Military Matters, one of KCMBF's three Legal Connection programs, fills the gap in legal services available to service members and veterans. For more information:

militarymatterskc.org


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Volunteer attorneys can watch the Military Matters Digital Kick-Off Event from 2021 which includes an overview of the program's success to date, a walkthrough of the Referral Software, and an explanation of how it affects you.

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Military Matters Pro Bono Spotlight

Each month Military Matters highlights a volunteer attorney who goes above and beyond in accepting referrals for service members and veterans of the Kansas City community. The monthly recognition is meant to distinguish the great work being done by the hundreds of pro-bono volunteer attorneys within the Military Matters Legal Team. 

KCMBF’s Military Matters is proud to shine the February Pro Bono Spotlight on Cecilia O’Hara.

Cecilia initially got involved with the Military Matters program upon learning that it would be equivalent to being on the juvenile appointment list. Additionally, she described that it would allow her to tailor cases to the area of law that she is most comfortable with. Cecilia is a first generation American, as both of her parents immigrated to the United States for college, so although she does not have family who has served, she has friends who have served in various branches of the military.

Cecilia explained that her experience with Military Matters so far has been great. “The clients that I have met and worked with have been so grateful and really just appreciated the help in navigating through various situations in life.”

Cecilia described her most memorable case with the program so far: “I represented a veteran in his divorce case and he and his ex-wife shared a child. I was able to work with him and his wife to come up with a step-up parenting plan so that he could begin resuming visits with his child. Eventually, my client was able to obtain employment and move into a place of his own and we were able to finalize a full divorce decree which allowed him a regular parenting schedule. To see the work my client put into himself to get to the resolution we did was amazing!”

Cecilia’s family members are accountants or CPAs and she joked that there is nothing she hates more than math. Her mom had a friend who was an attorney and Cecilia idolized her. Her mom’s friend would tell stories about her cases and how she advocated for her clients and Cecilia thought she was the most impressive person she had ever met. As she got older, Cecilia realized she wanted to help people and advocate for them, too, and law was the best way to do that.  

Cecilia is a stepmom to two boys with her partner Matt. “If there is a sport out there, the boys play it or have played it at some point, so we are constantly on the go,” she said. After years of convincing from her kids, she is playing in a 'mom's hockey league' now, so in her free time, she’s either playing hockey or napping.

Cecilia’s advice to lawyers considering the program is that she would highly recommend volunteering at some point, even if you only do a case or two. She explained that the “team at KCMBF who facilitate the MM program are all great!” Further, she said the time commitment can be as much or as little as you can handle. I've had quite a few cases where I was only needed to review or help facilitate the signing of documents. “Also, the individuals that I have gotten to meet and help have all been great people and it's something so simple for us to do but makes a big difference to them,” she said.

Thank you, Cecilia, for your dedication to KCMBF’s Military Matters and to giving back!


Are you a lawyer interested in joining the Military Matters Legal Team? Would you like a chance to be featured in the Military Matters #ProBonoSpotlight? Follow this link to join Military Matters: https://legal.militarymatterskc.org/

Visit KCMBF's Facebook Page to see the original post about Cecilia's service through Military Matters.

Archive of Past Military Matters Pro Bono Spotlights

Explore past Military Matters Pro Bono Spotlights


How You Can Support Military Matters

Volunteer

Are you an attorney? Help fill the gap in legal assistance available to service members and veterans in our service area.

Join the Military Matters Legal Team 

Providing pro bono service through Military Matters satisfies lawyers' requirement of participating in the Jackson County Juvenile appointment program for one year.

Administrative Order 18-06 states, in part:

Local Rules 21.4 (2014) and 21.6.1 (2010) govern the termination/withdrawal of attorneys and guardians ad litem in Chapter 211 RSMo. cases. Upon receipt of a Motion to Withdraw requesting that an attorney be relieved of an appointment in either a Chapter 211 case or a civil contempt case filed in the Family Court Division of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, the application shall be presented to the Court for consideration, except:

  1. If the attorney's request is based upon verified active participation in the Volunteer Attorney Project or the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation's Legal Connection: Military Matters program within the twelve month period preceding the date of the appointment;

Visit the Court's website here and read the Administrative Order here.

Annual Military Matters Symposium

Each year KCMBF hosts the Military Matters Symposium which brings together active Military Matters volunteer attorneys, representatives of veterans support organizations, and other veteran/military experts in the community. Each symposium has focused on a particular veterans topic, with the goal of both education and collaboration between attendees. The purpose of the symposium is to determine if there are additional opportunities for supporting veterans in the Kansas City community. View the 9th Annual Military Matters Symposium below.


Explore Past Year Topics and Speakers

Donate to Military Matters- Change Lives

Your donation will help Military Matters continue to grow and serve more service members and veterans in our community.  From providing funds for filing fees, expert testimony and other court fees to providing materials to train attorneys in VA benefit claims, your donation matters.

DONATE NOW

 

To volunteer in other capacities, please contact Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation at [email protected] or (816) 474-4322.