Virginia Lawyer

VaLawyer_June/July 2013

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The "Senior Law Day Program": A Win-Win-Win Program by William T. Wilson One of the best Virginia State Bar success stories is the "Senior Law Day Program," which was begun in Covington by the Alleghany-Bath-Highland Bar Association (A-B-H Bar) on May 24, 2005. A panel of lawyers from that bar association, including one general district court judge, divided up the material in the Senior William T. Wilson is in the private practice of law in Covington, and is a past chair of the VSB Senior Lawyers Conference and of its Senior Law Day Program Committee. Citizens Handbook, a publication of the Senior Lawyers Conference (SLC), and presented the program to an audience of about 100 senior citizens at the Alleghany County Circuit Court. After that successful start, the SLC, in September 2005, adopted the Senior Law Day Program as its flagship program and has provided a blueprint and other resource materials to local bar associations so they can present Senior Law Day programs for senior citizens in their communities. One of the beauties of the program is that each local bar association is able to tailor its individual program to the particular needs of the senior citizens in its community. The program venues have ranged from courtrooms to churches, educational facilities, public library meeting rooms, restaurants, or other available meeting spaces in the communities. Using the SLC blueprint, bar associations all over the commonwealth have presented Senior Law Day programs to tens of thousands of seniors. From the perspective of the SLC, the programs are "win-win-win." The senior citizens "win" because they are receiving information about legal issues affecting their lives which they otherwise might not receive. The lawyers and their bar associations "win" because, in being a part of one of these programs, we see the enormous good that is being accomplished; when we make someone else's life better, in the process, we make our own lives better. The program is also a "win" because it raises the image of the lawyers, the legal profession, and the bar associations in the eyes of the public. If you have been present for, or have participated in, one of these programs, you know how attentively and appreciatively the senior citizens receive the program and how interested they are in the subject matter. To 20 VIRGINIA LAWYER | June/July 2013 | Vol. 62 | SENIOR LAWYERS CONFERENCE be able to give information to senior citizens and to know that what they are receiving is vital to their wellbeing is rewarding and professionally satisfying. Each bar association which has put on such a program has found it to be well-received by their senior citizens and uplifting for the lawyers involved. The A-B-H Bar has now put on two Senior Law Day programs. I continue to be impressed and pleased by the number of people who, either because they attended our program, heard it on the radio, or read about it in the newspaper, come up to me later and thank our bar association for putting on the programs. With so many negative remarks about lawyers being bandied about in public, it is nice to receive that kind of praise and positive feedback. The reports to the SLC from www.vsb.org

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