On Veterans Day, the United States honors its more than 18 million military veterans. This national opportunity to thank veterans for their service, sacrifices, and contributions was recently extended to include the entire month of November as National Veterans and Military Families Month.
Mintz attorneys and professional staff express their appreciation toward veterans by offering pro bono legal services, volunteering for nonprofit organizations focused on serving veterans and their families, and through charitable donations and other contributions.
“Veterans’ cases have long been an important pro bono priority for Mintz,” said Member Susan Finegan, Chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee. “We are proud to play a role in closing the enormous gap in the provision of legal services to veterans and their families.”
Over the past few years, through various pro bono efforts—a handful of which are highlighted below—Mintz helped a homeless veteran to overcome a consumer debt issue, enabled a new nonprofit to treat veterans suffering from PTSD through equine therapy, equipped veterans with skills to help them secure employment in the private sector, and provided additional support.
Partnering with Veterans Legal Services
With assistance from outside pro bono attorneys, Boston-based nonprofit organization Veterans Legal Services (VLS) assists about 800 veterans each year with a broad range of legal matters relating to bankruptcy, securing access to social security and public benefits, divorce, child support and custody, domestic violence and housing issues.
Mintz attorneys volunteer every other month at VLS’s clinic at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts. Associate Clancy Galgay manages the firm’s relationship with VLS, with paralegal Svetlana Santos, and regularly volunteers at the clinic. “I feel very grateful for all that I’m afforded through the sacrifices of our veterans. I think it is my responsibility to give back by helping any veterans who may need it,” said Mr. Galgay.
In the past year, more than 10 Mintz attorneys and professional staff have participated in one or more VLS clinics. Recently, through a VLS clinic referral, Mr. Galgay and Mintz Member Peter Biagetti helped “John,” a homeless veteran in his 60s, to resolve a consumer debt issue. “John” was the subject of unlawful and threatening demands from a rehabilitation facility to pay thousands of dollars for treatment after enduring a foot amputation. His full story was featured in Mintz’s Pro Bono Journal, available here.
Supporting a Safe Haven of Healing for Veterans and First-Responders
Mintz supports the Warrior Ranch Foundation, a unique, new nonprofit corporation designed to help veterans and first responders—with a focus on those suffering from PTSD—and to rescue horses. According to researchers at Tufts University, equine-assisted therapy has been proven to reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. At Warrior Ranch, veterans of the military as well as first-responders are invited to attend clinics and workshops where they learn from an expert how to work with horses in a number of capacities. In addition, the ranch rehabilitates troubled horses, making them fit to return home or fit for adoption.
Mintz provides pro bono assistance to Warrior Ranch in connection with early stage corporate matters, advises the organization on agreements with donors, contractors, and event organizers, and provides additional guidance. Member Kevin Ainsworth coordinates the firm’s relationship with Warrior Ranch. Mr. Ainsworth served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1986 to 1991 and is an avid and active supporter of veterans’ causes.
Working with the Nation’s Largest Scholarship Provider for Military Children
Separately, Mr. Ainsworth also manages Mintz’s pro bono partnership with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides academic scholarships to children of United States Marines and Navy Corpsmen. The foundation is the nation's oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children.
Helping Veterans Transition to Civilian Life
Mintz Member Jennifer Rubin serves as a faculty member with The Honor Foundation, a San Diego–based nonprofit—now operating nationwide—that assists former Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders, Green Berets and other Special Operators as they transition from military service to the private sector. As a faculty member and advisor, Ms. Rubin teaches veterans skills relating to basic employment terminology and negotiation that are intended to empower them as they pursue private sector employment and careers. She also advises participants one-on-one as she helps them negotiate employment offers as well as equity and benefit packages.
Community Service and Volunteerism to Assist Veterans and Their Families
Mintz attorneys and professional staff also give back to veterans and their families through charitable donations and volunteerism at community events. For the past 25 years, the firm has held a holiday gift drive for veterans. Through this annual drive, led by Member Michael Gardener, Mintz attorneys and staff provide clothing and other needed items for men and women at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Boston, and the firm has become the largest contributor of holiday gifts for Massachusetts veterans.
Separately, Mintz volunteers have historically joined VLS at the annual Greater Boston Stand Down, a one-day event that brings together service providers and local veterans and enables veterans to receive immediate comprehensive and coordinated services in one place.
For more information about Mintz, please visit www.mintz.com.