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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.

 

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 Rapp's headshot image

KCMBF’s Military Matters is proud to shine the December #ProBonoSpotlight on Michael H. Rapp of Stecklein & Rapp Chartered!

Michael first became involved with Military Matters while serving in a leadership position for KCMBA’s Solo Practitioner and Small Firm Section.  He learned of the program, and as Michael is a veteran himself, he was happy to sign up to serve others.

“Military communities generally have more unique problems than the general population. They have the same issues that everyone else experiences but with a higher propensity of certain things.” He has found that as a veteran himself he can easily relate to the backgrounds and cultural tendencies of those veterans he assists. The type of communication that others may find direct or even rude is the communication style he is used to from his time in the military.  

Michael decided to pursue a degree in law in part due to an identity theft issue he experienced as an active duty soldier himself. After obtaining his undergraduate degree and working for some time with a marketing company, Michael joined the Air Force right after the events of September 11, 2001. While deployed, an individual moved into an apartment he had previously rented and put the power bill in his name. This bill collected debt, and began following Michael from debt collector to debt collector. It eventually became an issue when he wasted to purchase a car. “When you are deployed for long periods of time, and your social security number is printed on a lot of documents, you are at higher risk of identity theft.” Michael obtained his law degree from the UMKC School of Law and immediately went into consumer protection law. He quickly joined with his now partner, A.J. Stecklein of Stecklein & Rapp Chartered. 

Because of his firm’s consumer protection specialty, which involves identity theft cases and background check mistakes, Michael and his firm are very involved with local pro bono projects like Military Matters. They work closely with Legal Aid as well as other programs, and are always open to assisting those in need.

Outside of practicing law, Michael can be found spending time with his two dogs or chasing his three-year-old toddler!

Michael finds that giving back is even more rewarding as an attorney. “You can bring as a lawyer your unique skillset that is such a barrier for people.” He has found many individuals don’t immediately seek out an attorney with their legal issue because they may be intimidated by attorneys, they may be concerned about expenses, or they don’t want to burden someone with an issue they worry isn’t a big deal. “As an attorney, with a few pen strokes or a phone call, we can often fix something for these individuals. Even better, you may be able to let that person know their matter is a smaller problem than they may be thinking.” He finds he can often relieve a huge weight off of these individuals’ shoulders with just a simple phone call. 

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

Please visit the KCMBF Facebook Page to see the original post about Michael'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.  

DONATE NOW