Legal Connection: Military Matters

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

Military Matters Pro Bono Spotlight


KCMBF’s Military Matters is proud to shine the September #ProBonoSpotlight on Maureen Lester, an attorney with Van Osdol PC

Maureen Lester has not only dedicated countless hours to the assistance of veterans through the Military Matters program, but also volunteers her time as one of the Military Matters committee members who supports the program’s operations.  Maureen specializes in elder law and special needs law, which often involve estate planning. With this background she has helped several veterans each year since joining the program as a volunteer in estate planning, VA benefits, and VA pensions. Maureen learned about the program while serving on another KCMBA committee and signed up to help as both a volunteer and committee member when a call for assistance was sent out. Maureen states these cases have been a very positive experience for her. “They give you a really good feeling, that you’ve helped someone realize their problem isn’t insurmountable.”

Maureen determined she would specialize in elder law and special needs law during her second year of law school.  At the time she was taking an elder law class and simultaneously her grandfather experienced major health issues and her grandmother struggled to live at home alone. Maureen was very close to her grandparents, and her family personally experienced what many of her clients go through. Maureen describes her clients as a “shining light and beacon,” genuinely great individuals who she can assist in times of crisis. She fulfills her passion for helping others through this work, and states her favorite part is getting hugs from her clients. After creating her own path through law school to learn as much as possible about elder law, special needs law, and estate planning, Maureen joined Shepherd Elder Law Group, LLC . She remained there until January of this year, when she joined Van Osdol PC.

Being a lawyer has changed Maureen’s perspective and approach to problems, which she brings to her Military Matters clients. She has learned how to break down a problem into achievable pieces, which has impacted her life in almost every facet.  When talking with friends in her personal life, Maureen says, “When they talk about a problem, I can ask better questions to help them solve the issue themselves.” Knowing the best questions to ask can often make a large difference. She believes Military Matters is the best, easiest and most rewarding way to fill your pro bono requirement, “Because you get to do something you are good at which means you can really, really help someone. As an organization it is excellently run and practitioners can expect to get the support needed.” 

Maureen lives with her husband, Michael, who she met in law school, their one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Teagan, and their faithful canine companion, who was the ring bearer at their wedding. They are both originally from Kansas City, and Maureen has many connections to the military through her family. Her maternal grandfather was part of the Office of Special Investigations in the Navy, she has two uncles and an aunt who have served, and currently has a cousin commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps.

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

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

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

7th Annual Military Matters Symposium
Thursday, November 12, 2020 | KCMBA Event Center
Registration opens fall 2020

The annual Symposium brings together representatives from the front line providers of military and veteran services in the greater Kansas City Metropolitan area to continue the discussion on how best to alleviate the gaps in legal services and other support services available to veterans and active duty military.

Thank you to our 6th Annual Military Matters Symposium speakers!

Veteran Treatment Courts
Thursday, November 7, 2019 | KCMBA Event Center
Click here to view the program.

Chair, Nick McNeil and KC Rafferty

David White and Adam Baker

Photo 1: Chair, Nick McNeil and KC Rafferty
Photo 2: Moderator David White and Hon. Alexander, Hon. Bland, Comm. Fry, and Hon. McCarthy
Photo 3: Moderator David White and Adam Baker, Chris Carter, Kelly England, Tiffany Gregg, Dennis Johnson, and Bryan Meyer
Photo 4: David White and Adam Baker

How You Can Support Military Matters

Are you an attorney?  Join the Military Matters Legal Team - Help fill the gap in legal assistance available to military 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 Foundation Director, Sharra Wagner at or (816) 474-4322.

Donate - Change Lives 

Your donation will help Military Matters continue to grow and serve more 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.