The Missouri Attorney General's Military Legal Assistance Team

AG-Serve

The Military Legal Assistance Team (MLAT) is a statewide program bringing together private attorneys to provide pro bono legal representation and education to our military communities.

  About Logo

The Missouri Attorney General’s Military Legal Assistance Team (MLAT) provides pro bono legal assistance to servicemembers and veterans in Missouri for qualifying legal matters. The program also offers educational opportunities for Missouri servicemembers, veterans, and businesses. The MLAT is Missouri's first statewide attorney general-led program offering our military communities access to pro bono civil legal services. For a printable version, click here.

  Legal Issues Logo 

The MLAT serves the following qualifying legal issues:

  • MILITARY RIGHTS: The MLAT will accept referrals from military JAG attorneys related to military rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Action (SCRA), the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and state law.
  • CONSUMER PROTECTION: The MLAT will combat predatory business practices targeting Missouri’s military communities through the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection division.
  • EDUCATION: The MLAT offers educational presentations to servicemembers, veterans, and Missouri businesses on military consumer protection issues, civil legal protections for servicemembers, and presentations related to MLAT services. These events may be scheduled by contacting Scotty Allen, MLAT Managing Attorney.
  • STATE EMERGENCY DUTY: The MLAT will enforce state law protecting servicemember’s employment rights when activated for State Emergency Duty.
  • VETERANS CLINICS: In conjunction with partnering organizations, MLAT pro bono attorneys will draft simple wills and power of attorney documents and provide free legal consultation to Missouri veterans and military retirees at workshops held throughout the state.

Volunteer Logo 

In order to provide these pro bono services, the MLAT relies on volunteer attorneys. If you wish to volunteer for the MLAT or to schedule a CLE related to military pro bono opportunities, please contact Scotty Allen.

To participate, there is no minimum requirement of hours to volunteer. Volunteering for the MLAT does not obligate you to accept a referral for pro bono representation. Malpractice insurance is provided.

Service Members and Veterans Logo 

Servicemembers interested in pro bono representation through the MLAT must apply through their unit’s JAG office. Applications are not accepted directly from the servicemember.

MLAT services are available to active duty servicemembers stationed within the State of Missouri; Missouri resident servicemembers assigned outside the State of Missouri; and Missouri resident members of the National Guard or the reserves of the Armed Forces of the United States. To qualify, the court of competent jurisdiction and venue must be within the State of Missouri. Members of the inactive reserves (IRR) are not eligible for MLAT services.

Veterans or veteran organizations may contact Scotty Allen to request an estate planning workshop be held in your area.

  leadership logo

The MLAT is managed by Scotty Allen and guided by an advisory board. Members of the Advisory Board include:

  • Attorney General Eric Schmitt
  • Dr. Bucky Buckner, Colonel (ret.), U.S. Army, Missouri Veterans Commission
  • Morry S. Cole, President, Missouri Bar; Partner, Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C.
  • John D. Comerford, former U.S. Navy officer; former Chairman, Missouri Veterans Commission; Partner, Dowd Bennett, L.L.P.
  • David M. Lowe, Colonel (ret.), former State Judge Advocate of the Missouri Army National Guard; Principal, David M. Lowe Law Firm
  • Jason R. Scheiderer, Partner, Dentons
  • John (Jay) W. Simpson, Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P.
  • Erwin O. (Erv) Switzer, Partner, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.

In addition to the permanent members, the board will work closely with liaison attorneys from Fort Leonard Wood, Whiteman Air Force Base, and the Missouri National Guard Ike Skelton Training Site.

Presentation Logo

The MLAT offers educational presentations to servicemembers, veterans, and Missouri businesses on military consumer protection issues, civil legal protections for servicemembers, and presentations related to MLAT services. These events may be scheduled by contacting Scotty Allen, MLAT Managing Attorney.

Available briefings:

  • "Know Your Benefits” – Did you know that there are significant tax breaks available to servicemembers and veterans in Missouri? How about educational benefits; did you know that servicemembers and their families oftentimes qualify for education assistance well beyond those provided by the G.I. Bill? Are you a family member of a veteran and want to see your veteran get the recognition for their service that they deserve? This presentation provides a brief overview of every state and federal benefit program available to servicemembers, veterans and their families which addresses these issues and many more. This presentation can be tailored to suit any audience so that only relevant information is being presented.
  • “Know Your Rights” – Deployment time is a stressful time for servicemembers and their families, even if they have gone through it before. Given that stress, it is wise to know in advance what your legal rights are just in case a legal problem should arise while you and your loved one are separated by deployment. This presentation provides a brief overview of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Military Lending Act (MLA) and a number of state laws in place to protect military servicemembers and their families from common legal problems that arise during times of deployment. Moreover, this presentation also covers a number of predatory business practices military families should be aware of as well as what they should do if they confront one.
  • “Military Justice 101” – Have you ever watched a war movie that referenced giving someone an Article 15 and wondered just what that means? Or, how about a court martial, is it really that different from a civilian criminal trial? This presentation discusses the entire military justice system starting with simple oral admonishments all the way through the most severe punishments handed down by General Courts-Martial.
  • “Reserve 101” – Do you have a guardsman or reservist in your life and you want to better understand what it is that they do and why they do it? If so, this is the presentation for you. This presentation was developed to help employers and community leaders better understand what it means to be a guardsman or reservist, what their service obligations are, and what legal protections they enjoy under state and federal law.
  • “MLAT 101” – This presentation describes in detail what the Military Legal Assistance Team does and how it does it.
  • “Unraveling the Mystery of Military Status” – This presentation delves into the highly technical question of military status and why it is important to servicemembers, employers and those who represent the interests of either of those two groups. For example, many statutes apply to “members of the Armed Forces”, but what does that actually mean? Does it include guardsmen and reservists? Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t.
  • “USERRA A.I.T.” – Once you have completed basic training in the Army, you are next sent to “Advanced Individual Training” (AIT) to learn the basic skills of your military occupation. As a play on that theme, this presentation picks up where the Know Your Rights and Reserve 101 presentations leave off and goes deep into the reemployment rights of military servicemembers. This presentation is ideal for groups of servicemembers, attorneys, and HR professionals. Don’t see what you’re looking for? If not, please contact Scotty Allen, MLAT Managing Attorney, to discuss your specific needs. If given sufficient time to prepare, we are happy to create a presentation to suit your needs.