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December 2021 #YourMOLaw month in review

As the year winds down, The Missouri Bar wishes you a safe and happy end to 2021 and a joyful start to 2022!

December’s news began with an introduction to staff member Lisa Larkin, who oversees the Client Security Fund. This program was created by the bar’s Board of Governors in 1966 as a resource to clients harmed by the few lawyers who don’t adhere to the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct set by the Supreme Court of Missouri.

Under the program, clients who have suffered a financial loss due to the dishonest actions of a Missouri lawyer who was suspended or disbarred, died during representation, or abandoned his or her representation can submit claims for reimbursement to the six-member Client Security Fund Committee. The committee reviews each claim and recommends either approval or denial of compensation. The committee’s recommendations then go to the Board of Governors for a final decision. Click here to read more about the Client Security Fund and submit a claim. View a list of The Missouri Bar’s other dispute resolution programs for the public here.

On Dec. 8, Central High School in Springfield won out against other competitors in the annual Show-Me the Constitution competition co-hosted by The Missouri Bar’s Citizenship Education department and the Young Lawyers’ Section. 

The competition involves student teams answering questions regarding Constitutional issues that correspond with current events. A panel of judges then score students on their oral arguments, participation, and overall understanding of the Constitution. This year, 27 high school students participated, ranging from freshmen to seniors. Click here to learn more about the Missouri Bar’s Citizenship Education program. 

As storms swept through Missouri and surrounding states on Dec. 10, the bar set out to remind people that there is help available for citizens impacted by natural disasters. 

Two key resources highlighted were The Missouri Legal Services Disaster Manual and Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org. The manual is designed to help both recovery volunteers and those directly impacted by a disaster understand their rights under the law as well as providing information on protecting yourself from scams around home repair, how to replace lost documents, and your rights as a tenant or landlord. 

In addition, The Missouri Bar recommends asking Missouri lawyers your legal questions at Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org. This virtual legal advice clinic serves low to moderate income Missourians by providing a secure website where individuals can ask questions and volunteer lawyers can sign in to answer them. The process is simple and free for Missourians who qualify. 

Finally, the most recent episode of The Missouri Bar’s podcast, “Is It Legal To…?” presented information on navigating veteran benefits and the lengthy processes veterans struggle with when attempting to access the benefits they’ve earned through their service. Lawyer Jeffrey Bunten helps listeners understand how difficult it can be for veterans to get help. Listen to the new episode here. 

The Missouri Bar continually strives to provide information and resources through MissouriLawyersHelp.org. If you have ideas for podcasts or articles, please reach out to our communications team here. Have a safe and happy holiday season and check back in January for more news you can use.