Last Wednesday, my firm and another lawyer went over to the local Sherriff’s office and drafted 17 wills, durable powers of attorney and advanced healthcare directives for first responders. This was the second year that we partcipated in the Wills for Heroes program. It is sponsored locally by our Volunteer Lawyers Program.
While I knew that it was a worthwhile cause, I was not up for it. I had been out of the office the entire week before, was generally behind in my work and had a pre-trial order due in one of my cases by the end of the day. How about if I just throw a little money their way and stay at my desk, getting real work done? It wasn’t an option – they don’t need money – they need lawyers to draft these important documents. But I don’t even draft wills? Not a problem Pete – the organization has software that will walk even a probate law challenged soul like yourself through the process.
Stripped of excuses, off I went after lunch to "do good." Everyone who came in understood what we were doing and were accordingly appreciative. They all realized that their line of work puts them in harm’s way every time they go out on patrol and that these documents will, if the worst happens, make their families’ load a little lighter in the aftermath. They have not done it before because they aren’t paid what they are worth. I left with a real feeling of accomplishment. I still don’t know much about probate law, but I sure know the good, warm feeling that comes from helping someone else – even if it’s only in a small way.
I would encourage every lawyer out there to participate. If the program is not being done locally, I am sure that the folks at willsforheroes.org can remedy the situation. If you are a first responder, please take advantage of the opportunity – I know that you have already returned the favor many times over.
Cum Laude graduate of Cumberland School of Law, Pet Mackey is a civil trial litigation expert who represents plaintiffs in business and consumer tort, contracts and construction, employment disputes and insurance. He is board certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Certified Alabama Mediator, and an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell.