Editor’s note: State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick sent the following message to members on Friday.
We as a country seek to honor our veterans in many ways.
The State Bar of Texas, local bars, legal aid agencies, and many varied volunteer service organizations seek to honor veterans by serving them—providing free or low-cost legal services to veterans and their families.
Texas has the second largest population of veterans in the country, and, according to a 2016 Department of Veterans Affairs survey, legal issues account for four of the top 10 unmet needs of homeless veterans.
Earlier this year, the Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF) launched the Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services. Joe was a Marine before he became the enormously successful lawyer we knew. In his honor, Houston attorney Richard Mithoff created the fund to keep alive Joe’s vision of access to justice for all.
To assist with fundraising efforts, just last month, TAJF announced a “Remembering Our Heroes” campaign. It aims to recognize veterans and active duty military personnel by allowing contributors to donate to the Jamail endowment on behalf of a veteran or an active-duty member of the military. The foundation intends to honor those service members in a series of events surrounding Veterans Day.
I encourage you, in honor of this Veterans Day, to consider how you can serve a Texas veteran. Can you provide pro bono help through a local bar or volunteer organization? Is there a veteran whom you want to honor through the “Remembering Our Heroes” campaign?
Every act, no matter how small you think it may be, makes a difference.
Information about how to donate to the Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services and/or to honor a veteran through the “Remembering Our Heroes” campaign can be found on the Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s website—teajf.org.
The State Bar, through the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans program, continues to support local bar associations and volunteer organizations as they reach out to serve veterans in their communities. To view a calendar of legal clinics across the state and get involved, go to texasbar.com/veterans.
Reminder About Open Enrollment
I also want to remind you that the 2018 health insurance open enrollment period is under way through December 15, 2017. I encourage you to explore the offerings listed on the Texas Bar Private Insurance Exchange, an online clearinghouse for comparing and purchasing products from leading health insurance providers. The exchange is available for individuals or employer groups and is open to members of the State Bar of Texas, their employees, local bar staff, and Texas law students, including spouses, domestic partners, and dependents. Licensed benefits counselors are available to help you choose the best option for your individual needs. Federal rules have shortened open enrollment to just 45 days this year, so I encourage you to schedule an appointment with a benefits counselor (texasbar.memberbenefits.com/get-help/) as soon as possible. Visit memberbenefits.com/texasbar for more information.
President, State Bar of Texas