Nevada Provides Pro Bono Legal Aid to Troops, Veterans
By Debbie Gregory.
Nevada’s public-private partnership to help meet the legal needs of the state’s active duty military personnel, reservists, National Guard soldiers and veterans has assisted more than 900 individual in its first year, according to the state’s Attorney General.
Nevada’s @EASE program provides access to pro bono civil legal services for qualified service members, veterans and their families.. In practice, the program pairs military servicemembers in need of legal assistance with pro bono private legal counsel for civil matters including consumer fraud, military rights, immigration, landlord/tenant, predatory lending and creditor/debtor issues.
The program also provides monthly workshops dedicated to drafting free wills and powers of attorney for Nevada veterans across the state.
@EASE was launched just over one year ago, and is led by the state’s attorney general, Adam Laxalt, with public and private participation.
Laxalt said many soldiers don’t qualify for traditional legal aid programs because they live just above the poverty line.
A Judge Advocate General Corps officer can make calls and send letters on a service member’s behalf, but they can’t take the matter to a civilian court. That means even a seemingly minor legal squabble, such as a landlord dispute, can be a big deal.
Earlier this year, the Department of Defense named the Office a “Best Practice Program,” and recommended that the program be duplicated in states throughout the country.
The @EASE program strives to bolster military readiness by providing servicemembers with the knowledge that the program has the capacity to manage legal affairs in their absence—putting them “@EASE.”
We encourage you to contact your state’s attorney general to initiate a similar program. For more information, visit nvagomla.nv.gov .
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