Young Lawyers to Draft Free Wills for U.S. Park Police Officers in New York
CHICAGO, Aug. 4, 2008—The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, together with the Wills For Heroes Foundation, New York County Lawyers Association, New Jersey Bar Association and Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP will be drafting free wills for U.S. Park Police officers on Saturday, Aug. 9 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ET at the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York.
Part of the YLD’s 2007-2008 public service project, Wills for Heroes is a unique pro bono program created by the Wills for Heroes Foundation that provides free wills and other basic estate planning documents to emergency first responders, their spouses and domestic partners. Compelled to make a difference, foundation co-founder Anthony Hayes began the program shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and Saturday’s event marks the first time that Wills for Heroes will be occurring in New York City.
“I’m so proud of how far this program has come and of how many officers we’ve served over the past few years,” said Hayes. “And now it’s a great privilege to be able to provide this service for our heroes in New York.”
ABA YLD chair Justin Goldstein said he chose the Wills for Heroes program as the division’s public service project after he was approached by Hayes and foundation co-founder Jeffrey Jacobson. The YLD has rapidly expanded the reach of Wills for Heroes by partnering with local affiliates, such as the New York and New Jersey young lawyers bar groups.
“When I heard about this, I was really excited,” Goldstein said. “It was already a successful program, and it exactly fit what the YLD can do, by working with local affiliates. This has had an extremely positive reception.”
To date, Wills for Heroes has assisted more than 8,500 emergency first responders in 13 states. Additional programs are in development in several more including Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut , Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
Directions for media coverage
Accredited reporters are welcome to cover Wills for Heroes between 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free use of the National Park Service staff boat will be available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It’s docked at the Marine Inspection Office, U.S. Coast Guard, 1 South Street, New York, NY.
Also, reporters can access the contract ferry from Ellis Island all day, which is expected to depart every 30 minutes.
Once on Liberty Island, an officer will direct individuals to the residential portion of the island, where the event will be taking place.
The Wills for Heroes Foundation works nationwide with affiliate organizations to provide free wills and other estate planning documents to America’s first responders, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Since November 2001, the Wills for Heroes program has provided more than 8,500 estate planning documents nationwide. Attorneys Anthony Hayes and Jeffrey Jacobson oversee the Wills for Heroes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Donate to join us in “protecting those who protect us”® at www.willsforheroes.org.
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is the ABA’s largest entity, composed of approximately 147,000 members. The Young Lawyers Division, as the national organization of young lawyers, works to provide leadership in serving the public and the profession, and to promote excellence and fulfillment in the practice of law.
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.