Partner Mir Ali was featured on leading Schiff Hardin’s pilot team in working with the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, a national network of attorneys providing pro bono legal assistance to veterans.
Mir said, “It is very rewarding for us to be able to assist those folks that don’t know how to navigate the legal system and obtain the compensation they are fully entitled to under the law.”
Since the partnership was formally announced in November, Schiff attorneys have started representing veterans and their loved ones in appealing denials of benefits by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Mir, a former U.S. Army Specials Forces commander, said that his military service and experience has been helpful in connecting with the veterans he and his fellow Schiff attorneys are assisting.
“When you hear the stories about how they were wounded, whether it be in combat or moving equipment, I think you can relate to that,” Mir said. “You have done that same type of work and seen people injured.”
Partner Paula Ketcham, the firm’s pro bono coordinator, gave her immediate approval when Mir pitched the partnership opportunity to her last autumn and said that the firm encourages its lawyers to follow their passions when taking on pro bono projects.
“Mir followed in the tradition of many Schiff lawyers in identifying pro bono work that resonates with his experience, values and expertise,” she said. “His passion for this work is inspiring and will inspire others.”
The collaboration with the Veterans Consortium was a natural fit since Schiff had previously created its own veterans’ inclusion network called Military Appreciation at Schiff Hardin, or MASH.
The initiative was designed to help the firm hire and retain veteran attorneys, and Mir has played a significant role with the group by speaking to veterans at law schools and participating in firm-wide military appreciation events.
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