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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.


Military Matters program highlights of the number of referrals received, hours dedicated to volunteering, and the estimate value of those hours

Are you a current volunteer attorney? Click here to login to your account.

 

Did you miss our 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 our new 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. 

 

Michael Thiessen's headshot

KCMBF’s Military Matters is proud to shine the August #ProBonoSpotlight on Michael R. Thiessen, of Lewis Rice LLC.

Mike joined the Military Matters program as a volunteer when it was initially created.  He has helped veterans through the program each year since its inception.  “We get out of life what we invest in it.  My volunteer work with veterans through Military Matters and other programs has rewarded me far more than any benefits to the people I have tried to assist.”

Mike is named after his father’s best friend and cousin, a young man who gave his life in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II, not far from where his father was also serving.  “There were many people like the man I am named after who gave their lives so we can enjoy our freedoms.”  Mike feels the need to do his part and uses his skills as an attorney to help veterans in difficult situations.

When he graduated from the Air Force Academy he was not qualified to be a pilot due to his height. So he attended Stanford Law School, which allowed him to challenge previously held assumptions.  He served as a JAG officer (Judge Advocate General) at Richards Gebaur Air Force Base after law school and found he really enjoyed estate planning.  After serving nine and a half years on active duty, he went into private practice.  He remained in the Air Force Reserves, serving as a liaison officer for the Air Force Academy, primarily assisting with recruiting.

Mike was with Husch Blackwell and its predecessors for 21 years before joining Lewis Rice, where he practices today.  Mike attributes much of any success he and his group have had assisting clients to his estate planning partner of 28 years, Lisa Veselich, whom Mike believes to be one of the best estate planners in the country.  

Mike acknowledges his fellow attorneys who assist veterans, particularly Art Fillmore whose decades of efforts have led by example in supporting veterans.  “I encourage everyone in the profession to volunteer time to those who did not start where we did or who have had unexpected challenges.  It is incumbent on all of us to share our expertise and time.”  Mike also encourages all former JAG officers who are not already active with Military Matters to dust off their skills and engage as they more than most have an understanding of veterans’ needs.

In between his practice and volunteering, Mike enjoys gardening, cooking, and traveling with his wife, Nancy, and enjoying their children and grandchildren.  They have been married 51 years with three children and eight grandchildren.  They also claim their foreign exchange daughter from South Africa as a fourth child, and her three children as additional grandchildren.

Thank you, Mike, for your dedication to KCMBF’s #MilitaryMatters!


Please visit the KCMBF Facebook Page to see the original post about Mike's service to 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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