Silverdale, Wash – The American Bar Association has announced the Region Legal Service Office Northwest was recognized for exceptional performance in the area of legal assistance and was awarded the 2014 Distinguished Service Award.
Each year the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel has the honor of selecting recipients of the LAMP Distinguished Service Awards. These awards recognize exceptional achievements or exceptional service to or in support of the military legal assistance effort. Those chosen for the Award are individuals and units judged to have set the bar for military legal assistance, by pushing themselves and their practices in extraordinary ways.
The group awards are in recognition of a superior legal assistance program worthy of emulation; or a major legal assistance innovation; or the maintenance of quality legal assistance service through outstanding effort despite limited resources; or exceptional service to, or support of, the military legal assistance effort. The Region Legal Service Office Northwest (RLSO NW) Legal Assistance Department provided exceptional service during 2014 and distinguished itself by maintaining a superior legal assistance program fully supporting the needs of authorized beneficiaries in the Pacific Northwest, the Navy’s third largest fleet concentration area. RLSO NW offers legal assistance services at four office locations within the greater Seattle and Puget Sound area, and despite staffing shortages in 2014, military and civilian personnel in all four offices worked together to create a way to fill the gaps, overcome the challenges, and maintain high-quality legal assistance services through creative thinking and a willingness to try new technology.
As a result, the 20 military and civilian personnel assigned to the department provided over 17,000 personnel more than 30,000 legal services over the course of a year. Despite challenges created by distance between offices and personnel and resource limitations, the RLSO NW Legal Assistance Department pulled together as a team to deliver timely, quality legal services to its active-duty service members, family members, and retirees throughout the Pacific Northwest.