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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, go to militarymatterskc.org.


        Image: Michael B. George headshot                

                  Chair                                        Vice Chair                                         Secretary
        Michael B. George                      Kelly A. Campbell                                Courtney Stout
                Polsinelli PC                                  Spencer Fane LLP                           Williams Dirks Dameron LLC

Three Red and blue diamonds along the top represent the number of request, number of volunteer hours, and value of hours put into the Military Matters program, followed by statistics
Are you a current volunteer attorney? Click here to login to your account.

 

Digital Kick-Off Event

Volunteer attorneys can watch a recording of the event here, 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.

a group of professionals gathered around one desk discussing a topic

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. 

 

Headshot for Dawn M. Parsons

KCMBF’s Military Matters is proud to shine the May #ProBonoSpotlight on Dawn M. Parsons of Shaffer Lombardo Shurin!

Dawn has been a volunteer of Military Matters since 2017. She joined the program soon after moving from public practice to a private practice. While an adjunct professor at the UMKC School of Law one of her students, Bryan Meyers, who now works with Veterans Community Project, let her know of the program as he was involved early on with Military Matters.
 
Dawn’s father was a Canadian citizen who became naturalized by the United States in order to serve in the United States Army. Dawn’s father met her mother on a military base in West Germany while she worked for the Department of Defense as a teacher. 
 
Through the Military Matters program, Dawn has used her skills she developed as a prosecutor to assist veterans facing criminal charges. She says, “Almost all revolve around actions that happened when the veteran was experiencing a mental health crisis and they are often not getting the treatment they need.” She said the problem can be exacerbated as criminal charges on your record can create a barrier to the treatments veterans may need for mental health. She has been able to obtain alternative dispositions for veterans and has negotiated fines. “I think we have a responsibility as a society to provide [veterans] with adequate care after what they have done for us.”
 
Dawn had an interest the criminal justice system at an early age which opened her eyes to careers in the law. She saw that you can impact people through public service as a prosecutor and public defender and wanted the opportunity to try cases in the courtroom. She attended the UMKC School of Law and then served for 23 years in the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, leaving as a Chief Trial Assistant. She then moved to private practice with Shaffer Lombardo Shurin in 2015. 

Shaffer Lombardo Shurin has provided the support she needs to take on volunteer work through Military Matters and other public service projects. She is an avid supporter of other women lawyers and is involved in the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City (AWL). She is proud to note as of April 1 her firm is a majority woman-owned business! Dawn often spends her free time participating in programs where she can mentor and connect with young women lawyers. 

Outside of practicing law, giving back, and supporting AWL, Dawn loves to spend time out of the office doing home renovation projects. She admits this also involves watching a lot of content on HGTV and home renovation videos to help pick out colors and ideas! 

When asked why she volunteers, Dawn says, “We are helpers. When people think of being a lawyer, they think of helping those who need it.” And she says those who really need that help are so appreciative, which is her experience through Military Matters. 

Thank you, Dawn, for your dedication to KCMBF’s #MilitaryMatters and to giving back!

Please visit the KCMBF Facebook Page to see the original post about Kim's service through Military Matters.

Archive of Past Military Matters Pro Bono Spotlights

 Click here to explore past Military Matters Pro Bono Spotlights.

Join the Military Matters Legal Team
Military Matters is looking for your help in building its pro bono network for service members and veterans.
Click the image below to join the Military Matters Legal Team. 

a list of the benefits of joining Military Matters a volunteer attorney


How You Can Support Military Matters
Volunteer

Are you an attorney?  Join the Military Matters Legal Team - Help fill the gap in legal assistance available to service members and veterans in our service area.

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.

Click here to join our Pro Bono Network. To volunteer in other capacities, please contact Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation at apply@kcmbf.org or (816) 474-4322.

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.

To explore past year Symposium topics and speakers, click here.

 

Donate - 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.  

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