Penn State Law helps provide pro bono services to veterans and first responders

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Law students assisted area attorneys at the annual Wills for Heroes event in Innovation Park in the law offices of Penn State Law’s clinical programs on March 19. The event was co-sponsored by the Centre County Bar Association and Penn State Law’s Public Interest Law Fund and Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic. Nineteen students helped to connect first responders and veterans with attorneys who provided free estate planning documents.

The Wills for Heroes Foundation was created after 9/11 when an attorney contacted a New York state fire department and asked what he could do to help in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. It became clear firefighters were in desperate need for estate planning and wills. Since 2001, more than 7,000 first responders have received free services through the Wills for Heroes program. Each client walks away from the event with a living will, health care proxy and will. This year, 22 clients were assisted at the local event.

“The Wills For Heroes program provides a very valuable service to our local community, and a great opportunity for our students to be able to interact with clients, and watch attorneys in action as they interview clients to obtain information to prepare the legal documents,” said Penn State Law Professor Michele Vollmer, director of the Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic. “Veterans and first responders have done so much for us. We were grateful for this opportunity to show them our appreciation for their service.”

The Veterans and Servicemembers’ Legal Clinic, which launched last year, is designed to train Penn State Law students to provide legal representation to veterans and current service members in some specialized and complex areas of statutory and regulatory law, and to advocate on behalf of veterans and those serving in the military on policy matters at both the state and federal level.

For more information on the Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic, as well as other veterans’ legal events happening in University Park, visit its website or email More information about the event can be found at

Credit: Mary SzmollkoAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated March 24, 2016