Resource Center: Casework Partnership
Pro Bono Legal Assistance
The TAPS Casework Department is proud to be available for our TAPS family members, supporting them on a wide variety of topics and issues. This support ranges from assistance with DoD/VA benefit eligibility questions and requests for records, medals, and investigations, to education on survivor benefits and seeking local, regional, and national support for matters like financial assistance.
Recently TAPS partnered with the Military Spouse Juris Doctorate Network (MSJDN), an international network of legal professionals who are military spouses, to support our TAPS family members on matters like the probate of a will or other legal support needs. MSJDN launched its Justice for Military Families initiative earlier this year and chose TAPS as the first partner organization in providing free legal assistance to military families.
Prior to this TAPS had been able to provide limited low cost or pro bono legal assistance, but thanks to this new partnership, access to pro bono legal guidance and support is now more readily available.
"We have access to a group of people with very specific skills in our military spouse attorney members." said Pro Bono Director for MSJDN, Josie Beets. "We wanted to provide our members with a way of serving the military community. When we looked for an existing national organization providing free legal help to military families, we couldn't find one. So we started our own."
The TAPS partnership with MSJDN fills an important need, as navigating the legal process can be confusing and new for surviving family members, especially in the midst of grieving the loss of their loved one. Having the ability to pair a TAPS family member with an attorney who is familiar with the military can often provide a sense of relief to those who have never previously had to seek legal counsel.
The support available from MSJDN attorneys can range from simple counseling on an issue to direct assistance with completion of legal paperwork and/or representation in legal proceedings. While the topics covered are wide-ranging, there are certain areas on which MSDJN volunteer attorneys cannot provide direct support, to include most criminal matters and situations involving multiple TAPS family members (like child custody disputes).
The process for a TAPS family member to request legal support through the Justice for Military Families program is as simple as reaching out to the TAPS casework team and explaining the need. Our casework staff will then connect with our dedicated MSJDN contact to determine if the issue can be addressed by MSJDN volunteer attorneys and if there are attorneys in the network located near the TAPS family member. Remote support via telephone or email is also an option. This process typically takes between ten and fourteen days to initiate, but some pairings have been made in less than a week.
"We deeply appreciate the help and support that is provided to surviving military families through the Military Spouse JD Network and the Justice for Military Families initiative," said TAPS Founder and President Bonnie Carroll. "These military spouses who are attorneys understand the unique needs of the military community and we know they will be a supportive resource for many TAPS families."
DID YOU KNOW?
TAPS Casework Department receives casework inquiries via multiple sources, to include our TAPS toll-free number (1-800-959-8277), our dedicated email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and personal interaction with TAPS staff at regional and national seminars.
If you have a question, a problem or an issue that you don't know how to address, please reach out to us and let us know how we can help you.