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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


Are you a current volunteer attorney? 

Login to Your Military Matters Account

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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Veterun 5K

 


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 Javier Centonzio of Centonzio Law, PLLC.


We asked Javier about what fuels his practice and drives him to participate as a volunteer. Here is what he shared: 
When did you get involved with Military Matters?  
"My practice focuses on Veterans Disability Appeals and I started my practice in Florida where I went to law school. When I decided to move back to Kansas City and open a second office here, I wanted to get involved in the local legal community and Military Matters was the perfect opportunity to get involved and make an impact in my hometown." 
Who or what catalyzed your desire to work in law, specifically as an attorney?  
"My mother planted the seed by emphasizing the importance of education and discussing with me the positive impact an attorney can make on other people's lives. The catalyst that made me pursue my goal of becoming an attorney was the death of my good friend, Sgt. Jessie Davila, during our deployment to Iraq in 2006." 
What is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had while providing counsel to a client seeking assistance with their Veteran benefits application or appeal?  
"The feeling you get when you help a Veteran obtain disability benefits that they have been fighting for years to get is second to none. For many Veterans, getting VA benefits is validation of their service and recognition of their personal sacrifice."  
How would you encourage a peer to volunteer their time and services to a pro or low bono legal aid service?  
"I would encourage them to find a program that allows them to take pro bono or low bono cases on their terms. The Military Matters program is great because you can pick the practice area(s) of the matters you are willing to take. If you are too busy to take a case when your name comes up, you can decline it and wait until your name comes up again. More often than not, you will find that a simple phone call with a person needing legal advice can make a world of difference to them. Being able to help someone out with just a phone call is a gratifying feeling." 
What provides you with a sense of fortitude when dealing with a heavy caseload?  
"Having a sense of purpose helps me deal with a heavy workload and stressful situations. I also try to remind myself that I am very privileged to be in a position where I can help others and come home to my family every day. Purpose and perspective." 

Visit KCMBF's Facebook Page to see the original post about Javier'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.