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Penn State Law students serve local first responders, veterans

UNIVERISTY PARK, Pa. -- On Saturday, March 25, nearly 30 veterans and first responders from the local community walked into the Penn State Law Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic office without an estate plan, and left with a free will, living will, and health care and financial powers of attorney.

The clinic—in partnership with the Centre County Bar Association (CCBA), the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and the Penn State Law Public Interest Law Fund—provided this important service as part of the annual Wills for Heroes event, which each year helps dozens of police officers, EMTs, firefighters, and veterans prepare for the future.

"The CCBA and its volunteer attorneys look forward to this annual event as a way for us to give back to the community where we work,” said CCBA Executive Director Hollyce Winters. “It is an honor to assist first responders and veterans with this important endeavor.”

The event was staffed by a combination of local attorneys and Penn State Law students who volunteered their time and knowledge to help these local heroes, who selflessly devote their lives to potentially dangerous service, draft a comprehensive and personalized estate plan that best suits their individual needs.

“Not only does it serve an important role for the veterans and first responders,” said clinic director Michele Vollmer, “but it also gives Penn State Law students the opportunity to get hands-on experience working alongside legal professionals to draft an important set of legal documents.”

“Having not done this kind of work before, it was a valuable learning experience to see firsthand what goes into the estate-planning process,” said Penn State Law student Ben McGiffin. “And being able to provide that service, knowing that we were giving back to the community, was very rewarding—so to be able to do both at the same time was great.”

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