Updated: Jan. 19, 2022

Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section

The WSBA Legal Assistance to Military Personnel (LAMP) Section addresses matters related to the rendition of appropriate and efficient legal service to members of the armed forces of the United States. Initially formed as a standing committee of the Washington State Bar Association in 1996, the LAMP Section was formed in October 2004.

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~ Stephen Carpenter, Jr.

Nov. 25, 2021

Veterans Day was originally named in recognition of Armistice Day which ended the hostilities of World War I. Specifically, the German surrender occurred in 1918, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. The Treaty of Versailles was signed about seven months after the guns had fallen silent.

In 1954, Congress commemorated our efforts in the Korean War by replacing Armistice Day with Veterans Day, which recognized servicemembers in all Wars, and not merely World War I. It is curious that this semantic, albeit fundamental change, did not occur as a direct result of World War II. Again, the memories of the Korean conflict spurred the change. Finally, in 1975, President Gerald Ford signed Public Law 94-97 which replaced Oct. 25 with Nov. 11 as our nation’s new Veterans Day.

Beyond this background, let’s be clear on why we celebrate Veterans. There is no question that each of our Veterans is intrinsically invaluable to our system of government. Their collective presence in our lives, protecting our way of life, is fundamental to our freedom, and, indeed, our very existence as a nation. In this sense, “everyday” reigns as Veterans Day. When you next see men and women in uniform, kindly remind them, please, about how much your freedom matters.

Sept. 25, 2021

It has been a challenging, and yet, productive “virtual” year so far. To start our fiscal year, the Washington State Bar NW Lawyer graciously profiled LAMP in its Section Spotlight published in November 2020.  LAMP next focused on educational outreach. Beginning in February 2021, LAMP produced a Mini-CLE on New Developments in Military Justice in coordination with the Staff Judge Advocate’s (SJA) Offices located at Joint-Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).

LAMP next turned its attention to veteran homelessness, orchestrating a three-part mini-series addressing related veteran legislation, processes, and show cause hearings. Our Homelessness series, accessible for viewing below, proved popular. LAMP is proud to have met this need on behalf of our Veterans —total attendance for this series reached nearly 900 viewers. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that this groundbreaking series would not have been remotely possible without the phenomenal support of Joyce Bruce, from the Washington Attorney General’s Office of Military & Veteran Legal Assistance.

In steering the LAMP ship this next year, I look forward to hopefully providing the support that each of us yearns for, to make a difference in the lives of folks who served our freedom.  As an aside, I am writing this post from Tartu, Estonia, a country that has a special affection for freedom. God Bless Our Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, and Coasties who so selflessly raised their collective hands to defend our Great Country and its sacrosanct civil freedoms.

LAMP General Meeting Schedule

Below is the schedule for LAMP General Meetings through the end of 2022. Each meeting directly precedes a Mini-CLE. Watch the WSBA events calendar for the topic and a registration link as each event date approaches!

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE on Discharge Upgrades at 11 a.m.

Thursday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m.  (Executive Committee Meeting Only)

Thursday, March 10, 2022, 11 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE at 12 p.m.

Thursday, June 9, 11 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE at 12 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE at 12 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. followed by Mini-CLE at 12 p.m.

Webinar Series on Evictions Representation

LAMP supports, protects and legally empowers America’s current and past uniformed military members.  Patriots should expect no less. As part of this responsibility, LAMP provided, in conjunction with the AGO OMVLA, a three-part Mini-CLE series which addressed the empowerment of Veterans, through their counsel, in cases in which they erroneously face eviction from their homes.  All Veterans deserve to have a home; the law, through dedicated professionals, should ensure it.

As such, we earnestly invite you to carefully listen to Part 1 of this insightful Mini-CLE series, which is available below. Part 1 analyzes the applicable legislations. Part 2 addresses the processes specific to eviction law, and Part 3, winning strategies at show cause hearings. Veterans deserve legal protection, and you, as advocates, are uniquely positioned to make a major difference in their lives, as they once, not long ago, did for you, and your family.

Part 1: Understanding the Changing Legal Landscape and How the Legal Community Can Help Veterans and Servicemembers at Risk of Being Evicted

This webinar, presented on June 25, 2021, reviews how the new legislation impacts the eviction process (RCW 59.12) and how it amended the Residential Landlord Tenant Act in Washington State (RCW 59.18). The webinar also provides information on opportunities to help veterans and service members at risk of being evicted.


Joyce Bruce, Attorney General’s Office of Military and Veteran Legal Assistance, Seattle
Scott Crain, Northwest Justice Project, Seattle

Watch now

This link is not accredited for CLE credit and is available for viewing for up to one year after the live event date (June 25, 2021). 

LAMP in the News!

See the Section Spotlight feature in the November 2020 issue of Washington State Bar News: 

LAMP at the Forefront of Helping Our Uniformed Folks in Washington State


Attorneys Assisting Citizen-Soldiers and Families (AACF)

RCW's Relating Military Affairs and Veteran Affairs

APR 8(b)

SHB 1170 (parenting plans based on military service)

ABA Military Pro Bono Project

WSBA Legislative Activities


The following resources include information describing issues affecting military personnel. Lawyers, businesses, and members of the public will find help regarding reserve and active military personnel in all branches of service.

WSBA recommends that military personnel visit their base JAG office for specific information regarding particular questions.

ABA Resources

Army JAG Resources

Army Review Boards Agency

Navy Judge Advocate General

Resources for Reserve Officers

The New SCRA

Department of Defense Resources

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Representing Washington Veterans

Executive Committee

Chair: Stephen Carpenter Jr.  (2020-2022)  

Vice ChairPaul Apple (2020-2022) 

Secretary-TreasurerEric McDonald (2021-2022) 

Immediate Past Chair: Eric McDonald (2020-2022)

Strategic Planning Committee*
Jon Bridge (2020-2022)
Sharon Powell (2020-2022)
Alex Straub (2020-2022)

HistorianDaniel Russ (2020-2022)

Legislative Committee Chair: Jeff Coats (2020-2022)

Law School Liaison*Craig Allen (2020-2022)

Young Lawyer Liaison*: Madison Burke (2021-2023)

Board of Governors Liaison*: Hunter Abell (2021-2022) 

Northwest Justice Project Liaison*: Adam Chromy

* Nonvoting member

Please contact subcommittee member for details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.

To join the section list serve and for more general section questions, please send your email address and Bar number to sections@wsba.org. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact the current section chair, Stephen Carpenter Jr.