News | May 5, 2021

JAG Community Wins 2020 ABA LAMP Awards

By Navy JAG Corps Public Affairs 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Members of the JAG community received individual and team awards from the American Bar Association’s 2020 Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP).

LAMP fosters the continued growth of the military legal assistance programs; promotes the delivery of legal services to military personnel and their family members, and works with other organizations to enhance the scope, quality, and delivery of free or affordable legal services to eligible legal assistance clients.

The winner of the Group category is the Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic Legal Assistance Department in Norfolk, Va. The winner of the Individual category is Lt. Amy C. Zajac, Region Legal Service Office Western Pacific, Branch Office-Guam.

These awards recognize exceptional achievements or exceptional service to or in support of the military legal assistance effort.

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.

In 2020, Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic (RLSO MIDLANT) Legal Assistance Department developed and provided innovative new programs supporting the Exceptional Family Member Program and domestic violence victims. Rapidly adapting to overcome obstacles resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, RLSO MIDLANT’s Legal Assistance Department embodied a superior legal assistance program worthy of emulation. First, the Legal Assistance Department provided an exemplary response to COVID-19 that was immediately shared and replicated by other offices.

Cmdr. Nicholas Stampfli, as Legal Assistance Department Head at RLSO Mid- Atlantic, shared his sentiments on receiving the nod.

“Receiving the ABA Group LAMP award is a great honor, and I’m thankful that the ABA has recognized the work that the Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic team has put in over the last year, particularly while operating under the global pandemic caused by COVID-19.”

Stampfli shared how leadership and a team effort played integral roles in the recognition.

“In particular, we have been successful thanks to strong leadership from the civilian employees in our department, and the positive attitude of our first tour officers and enlisted support staff. They have adapted to and overcame the challenges caused by the pandemic all while working to start a new program dedicated to serving the special education needs of children enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program.”

The LAMP individual award is given in recognition of a major legal assistance innovation, demonstrated superior effort exceeding the performance of routine duties dedicated to providing legal assistance service over a specified period, or rendering exceptional service or support to the military legal assistance effort.  Zajac exemplified that ethos.

During 2020, Lt. Zajac consistently met novel, large-scale challenges and remained committed to the legal assistance mission. She set the standard for superior and sustained support to Fleet legal readiness in the Indo-Pacific area of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the sole Navy legal assistance provider in Guam, Zajac was instrumental in supporting the Sailors aboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) during its outbreak of COVID-19. Zajac enabled her team to safely provide in-person notary services to Sailors in quarantine participated in the Emergency Operations Center as the Region Legal Service Office Western Pacific Volunteer Response Coordinator and met the emergent legal needs of emergency response teams.

Zajac currently serves as the Legal Assistance Branch Office 1 lead for RLSO Japan BROFF Guam. She previously served as a First four Judge Advocate with RLSO EURAFSWA and DSO North Detachment Naples, Italy. Zajac also served as one of two U.S. Staff Judge Advocates onboard the French Frigate F.S. TONNERRE during Bois Belleau 100, the first U.S., French, and Emirati multilateral mission of its kind.

Congratulations to all on the recognition!