25
October
2019
|
10:37 PM
America/Chicago

Larry Thomason, veterans clinic volunteer

Summary

Tell us about your experience as a lawyer?

I graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1999.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us about your experience as a lawyer?

I graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 1999. In May 2000, I was admitted to the Illinois Bar and then The Missouri Bar in September of that year. I am currently a member of Thomason & Faucett, LLC, a general practice firm.

When did you first become involved with the veterans clinics?

The veterans clinics started in 2014 and I was told I started at the second clinic. (Editor’s note: The veterans clinics began in partnership with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri to assist those who had served in the military with legal issues.)

What kind of assistance do you provide most often?

Most of our VA beneficiaries are intimidated by the legal system and get confused with its mechanics. They understand their facts, but they are confused with how to handle their matter. The most rewarding cases are those that after the conversation, the veteran feels more at ease with the issues they are confronting so they can handle them with more confidence. They appreciate the education and guidance.

Why is doing pro bono work important to you?

Volunteer work has always been an important component of my professional development and career. From tutoring in literacy shortly after high school to my current volunteer work with the VA clinics, giving a part of my time to the community has always been rewarding for me and hopefully a benefit to those we serve. I was told by a wise person that I cannot solve the world’s problems, but by providing volunteer work I can help ameliorate some part of the issues. If we all give a small portion of our time, we can collectively make a large impact on our society.

In the last year, how much pro bono work have you completed?

I’ve volunteered about 30 to 40 hours through the VA Clinic, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and the St. Louis County Domestic Violence court.

How does it feel to have helped so many people with their legal issues?

It is rewarding work. Having assisted over a couple hundred people at this point, I frequently see folks who received service in the grocery store or on the street. They often stop me to say “thanks.” The appreciation is not requested or required, but it’s nice to hear.

What advice would you give other lawyers about getting involved with veteran’s clinics?

Just do it. We get so busy with our work that we convince ourselves that we will start volunteering “when I’m not as busy.” We are always busy, we will always be busy and we just have to do it anyway. Our schedules will adjust. Waiting until we are not busy means we will not begin a work that is rewarding.