The Missouri Attorney General's Military Legal Assistance Team
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.
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.
The MLAT serves the following qualifying legal issues:
- MILITARY RIGHTS: The MLAT will accept referrals for representation from actively serving military members concerning legal issues caused by or exacerbated by their military service. For employer related issues, contact the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) at 1-800-336-4590. The MLAT does not provide legal representation for veterans or former servicemembers.
- 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 the MLAT Managing Attorney.
- STATE EMERGENCY DUTY: The MLAT will enforce state law protecting servicemember’s employment rights when activated for State Emergency Duty. Contact the ESGR at 1-800-336-4590 as the first step in resolving these concerns. Should the ESGR be unsuccessful in resolving your issue, they will refer your case to the MLAT.
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 the MLAT Managing Attorney.
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.
Servicemembers interested in pro bono representation through the MLAT should contact their unit’s JAG office first for advice regarding their situation. However, applications will be accepted directly from the servicemember when they are unable to first consult their unit’s JAG officer.
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 for the legal issue must be within the State of Missouri. Members of the inactive reserves (IRR) are not eligible for MLAT services.
The MLAT is managed by an Assistant Attorney General 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 works closely with liaison attorneys from Fort Leonard Wood, Whiteman Air Force Base, and the Missouri National Guard Ike Skelton Training Site.