On Veterans Day, and throughout the month of November, which is National Veterans and Military Families Month, the United States honors its roughly 19 million military veterans for their service, sacrifices, and contributions.
Mintz attorneys and professional staff are proud to 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.
“Serving our nation’s veterans and assisting with their unique legal needs is an important and established part of Mintz’s Pro Bono Program,” said Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee Susan Finegan. “This past year has been particularly challenging for the veteran community, and our attorneys and staff have stepped up to provide pro bono legal assistance wherever possible.”
Below are several examples from the past year of how Mintz supports veterans and veteran-focused organizations.
Supporting a Safe Haven of Healing for Veterans and First-Responders
Mintz supports the Warrior Ranch Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Long Island, N.Y. that provides equine therapy for military veterans and first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A study conducted at Tufts University has shown that equine-assisted therapy reduces PTSD symptoms. While learning how to groom, feed, and exercise horses, program participants bond with the animals and benefit from their companionship — lowering their own stress levels and building confidence as they learn to communicate with the horses and help the animals overcome their fears. Warrior Ranch also hopes to rescue horses from neglectful owners or slaughterhouses, or after they have retired from careers as race or show horses, and to retrain them for adoption.
Mintz Member Kevin Ainsworth, a Marine Corps veteran, spearheads the firm’s pro bono partnership with Warrior Ranch and sits on the organization’s Board of Directors. Mr. Ainsworth has reviewed contracts for the organization and Mintz attorneys Brie Kluytenaar and Corbin Carter have helped with employment law matters, such as employment contracts and COVID-related employment regulations.
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 U.S. Marines and Navy Corpsmen. The foundation is the nation's oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children.
Helping Two New Veterans’ Organizations File as 501(c)(3) Charitable Entities
Mr. Ainsworth, together with Mintz Special Counsel Susan Kealy and Associate Cody Keetch, also recently helped two new veterans’ organizations file as 501(c)(3) charitable entities. One, Project Athena, seeks to involve female veterans in empowering activities centered around wild mustangs, conservation of public lands, community enrichment, and personal development and care. The other, Warriors Rise, provides customized virtual career fairs for veterans as well as underwriting for veterans’ adaptive sports and general assistance to veterans in need.
“I am very proud to team with these impactful organizations through pro bono and volunteer work as they strive to help veterans,” said Mr. Ainsworth.
Safeguarding Veterans’ Sensitive Health Information
Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) provides services to help more than 3,000 veterans each year overcome homelessness and related challenges. To ensure its clients get the support they need to rebuild their lives, the organization takes a comprehensive approach that combines employment and training services, help with legal issues, mental health and rehabilitation services, and assistance in securing housing, depending on the needs of the client. Mintz Member Lara Compton calls on her experience as a health care regulatory attorney to help the organization address issues that could jeopardize their clients’ privacy and put the organization at risk of noncompliance with state and federal privacy laws. For several years, she has helped the organization meet its legal obligations relating to the privacy and security of its client data and navigate requests for access to client information. With her help, VVSD is able to safeguard clients’ sensitive information — which helps establish much needed trust between VVSD and its clients.
“Working with VVSD on privacy issues gives me a great opportunity to use my background as a health care regulatory attorney to really make a difference for veterans,” Ms. Compton said.
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.
Providing Trademark Guidance to an Organization Honoring Distinguished Members of the Armed Forces
Mintz Member Andrew Skale and Trademark Specialist Jacobo Dib have been providing trademark guidance to the American Freedom Honors and its parent organization, Veterans of Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom, a national service organization based in Fort Worth, Texas. The American Freedom Honors Awards recognize distinguished members of the Armed Forces for their unique and exceptional achievements, outstanding performances, and extraordinary contributions. The overall operations of the event are undertaken by members of the Armed Forces who currently serve or have served honorably, as well as community organizations serving military and veterans, and the corporations and individuals who support them.
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 over 25 years, the firm has held a holiday gift drive for veterans. Through this annual drive, led by Mintz Member Michael Gardener and Assistant Mary O'Halloran, 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.
To learn more about Mintz's pro bono efforts, please click here.