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Monday, May 26, 2014

ALBANY — Recognizing the legal challenges faced by veterans, the New York State Bar Association has extended, through November 2014, a statewide program that provides discounted legal help to military veterans.

The Veteran Referral Panel program, which began in November , helps veterans with a broad range of legal matters, including obtaining federal benefits, military discharge upgrades, adoptions and family law, and bankruptcy. The program originally was to end later this month. More than 250 attorneys from around the state are participating in the effort.

"Veterans are often forced to deal with a variety of issues relating to employment, family matters, health care, housing, disability, pensions and finances. While the legal needs of veterans are not necessarily unique, the people are," said State Bar President David M. Schraver of Rochester, who served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the U.S. Navy. "The State Bar Association is committed to those who have served our country and who now need our help."

Under the program, participating attorneys have agreed to provide an initial free phone consultation and offer a 25 percent discount on their regular fees

"New York is home to more than 988,000 military veterans, many of whom find themselves in situations in which they need legal assistance. There is an unmet need for this kind of service in New York," said Anna K. Christian of Schenectady, chair of the State Bar's Committee on Lawyer Referral Service. "I am pleased that so many attorneys have enthusiastically embraced this opportunity to help our veterans."

Veterans who wish to take advantage of the discounted legal services should call 1-800-342-3661 or email Attorneys who wish to assist veterans should visit for an application.

The State Bar Association also provides other resources to veterans at

The New York State Bar Association, with 75,000 members, is the largest voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in 1876.

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