In the wake of 9/11, one young lawyer in South Carolina discovered that most of the firefighters and first responders who lost their lives in the attack did not have wills. That lawyer organized a service to provide free wills and powers of attorney to first responders in his state. Today, the program known as the Wills for Heroes Foundation has spread throughout the country. This Saturday, it will have its first event in Washington, when lawyers take over the United States Park Police station in Anacostia to draft free wills for the officers there.
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is helping with Saturday’s event. The division chose Wills for Heroes as its 2007-2008 public service project. The Virginia Bar Association and Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll are also taking part.
“I wanted a program that was already in existence, and had proved itself successful,” says Justin Goldstein, chair of the Young Lawyers Division, who selected this year’s public service project.
The Young Lawyers Division has so far helped host three other Wills for Heroes events, in San Francisco, Charlotte, and Beverly Hills. Goldstein says he expects that more than 100 officers will turn out to get their wills drafted on Saturday. The lawyers will work from noon to 6 p.m. at the Anacostia station.