On January 18, Partner Jack Regan
was honored with the Shelter Legal Services’ (SLS) Distinguished Service Award at its annual gala
—an award presented to an individual for his or her contributions to achieving SLS’s mission of promoting self-sufficiency, financial security and the stability of military veterans and the homeless. The award recognizes Regan’s dedication of time, expertise and resources to making a difference in the lives of veterans and of SLS clients.
Regan, a US Navy veteran himself, was selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, in large part, for his success in establishing a platform for the delivery of free legal services to veterans, National Guard, reserve, and active duty service personnel during his term as president of the Boston Bar Association (2009–2010). Regan partnered with Bill Sinnott, corporation counsel for the City of Boston and a former Marine Corps officer, to establish a task force within the BBA whose goal was to mobilize lawyers to volunteer their services at Yellow Ribbon, and similar briefing events throughout Massachusetts, organized for military personnel deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families. During the events held throughout the year, presentations were given on legal topics such as re-employment rights, family law, bankruptcy, estate planning, tenancy and foreclosure issues. One-on-one counsel was provided to those who asked for further guidance.
These pro bono legal services did not end with the close of Regan’s term as BBA President. Lynn Girton, co-chair of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, and Anna Schleelein, co-chair of SLS, established the Delivery of Legal Services' Active Duty Military, Family Members & Veterans Committee
at the BBA. The program conceived by Regan and his colleagues is now embedded in this BBA Committee and carried on by a team of talented and committed lawyers.
Regan’s work for veterans and active duty military personnel goes beyond his time with the BBA. As co-chair of WilmerHale’s Pro Bono and Community Service
Committee, he, Co-Chair Kim Parker
, Pro Bono Counsel Chris Herrling
, Public Service Manager Anne Bowie, and many firm lawyers work closely with the National Veterans Legal Services Consortium to handle a steady stream of service-connected disability benefit claims for veterans. Since 2008, the firm has undertaken representation of 84 veterans.
SLS is a nonprofit organization offering free legal advice and representation to low-income veterans and the homeless in the Boston area. It promotes self-sufficiency, financial security and stability for this population by providing comprehensive and accessible legal services. In 2012 alone, SLS served more than four hundred clients and provided more than $1 million in free legal services to those who would otherwise have not been able to afford it.