On Veterans Day, and throughout the month of November, which is National Veterans and Military Families Month, the United States honors its more than 18 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.
“Mintz’s pro bono program maintains its longstanding commitment to helping veterans and their families,” said Member Susan Finegan, Chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee. “Particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many communities are struggling with an increased need for access to justice and pro bono legal services, including veterans.”
Below are several examples from the past year of how Mintz supports veterans and veteran-focused organizations.
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.
Prior to COVID-19, Mintz attorneys volunteered every other month at VLS’ in-person clinic at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts. In the past year, numerous Mintz attorneys and professional staff have participated in one or more VLS clinics. Of Counsel 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.
Supporting a Safe Haven of Healing for Veterans and First-Responders
Mintz supports the Warrior Ranch Foundation, a unique nonprofit corporation designed to help veterans and first responders — with a focus on those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — and to rescue horses. According to researchers at Tufts University, equine-assisted therapy has been proven to reduce the symptoms of PTSD. 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 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 spearheads the firm’s partnership with Warrior Ranch and sits on the organization’s Board of Directors. 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 over 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.