Operation Stand-By: Providing and Receiving Attorney-to-Attorney Advice

You may participate with Operation Stand-By in two ways:

             (1)  Volunteer!

Register with Operation Stand-By to be available to receive calls or emails from military attorneys and/or other volunteer attorneys in need of general legal guidance relating to your area of expertise, so they can better assist their servicemember and veteran clients. Learn more.

           (2) Get attorney-to-attorney guidance for your pro bono case. 

If you are an attorney who is registered with and handling a case through the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network, or another pro bono organization, and you find that you need attorney-to-attorney advice while representing your pro bono servicemember or veteran client, you may contact an Operation Stand-By attorney for general guidance. Learn More.

Volunteering with Operation Stand-By

You may register to join Operation Stand-By to be available to potentially receive calls or emails from military legal assistance attorneys and/or other volunteer attorneys in need of general legal guidance relating to your area of expertise, so they can better assist their servicemember and veteran clients.

  • Why should I volunteer with Operation Stand-By?

Military legal assistance attorneys provide invaluable legal help to military families in a range of legal matters, but there are instances when military attorneys may not have the deep substantive expertise or state-specific legal knowledge necessary to fully advise and assist their clients. For example, they may have questions about the proper jurisdiction for a client’s case, whether there is a potential legal remedy for a client’s issue in a certain state, or how a particular remedy in an unfamiliar legal area can be pursued.

Alternatively, volunteer attorneys who accept cases through the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, the ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network (VCAN), and other pro bono organizations may find legal issues in their cases with which they have less experience, so they may need guidance while representing their pro bono clients.

Your advice through a short phone conversation or email may greatly help the military and pro bono attorneys better assist their clients.

  • How do I join Operation Stand-By?

The ABA Military Pro Bono Project is the platform for Operation Stand-By. Register on the program’s website by clicking Attorney Registration, and choose to join Operation Stand-By. Make sure to specify your bar admission year, primary bar admission state, and substantive area(s) of practice for which you are willing to accept questions from military and pro bono attorneys.

  • Am I eligible to join Operation Stand-By?

If you have been licensed to practice law for at least three years and you are currently admitted to a state bar in good standing, you are eligible to join Operation Stand-By. These requirements help to ensure that the Operation Stand-By volunteer attorneys can provide useful attorney-to-attorney advice.

  • What substantive areas of law does Operation Stand-By include?

You may register to provide advice in the following areas of law: bankruptcy, consumer, criminal, employment, expungements, family law, guardianship, housing/landlord-tenant, immigration, personal injury, public benefits, special education, tax, trusts and estates/probate, military discharge upgrades, and veterans benefits.

  • Who will have access to my contact information through Operation Stand-By?

Your contact information will be added to the password-secured Operation Stand-By list accessible only by military attorneys and pro bono attorneys who are registered with the Military Pro Bono Project or the ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network. 

  • How will an attorney contact me for advice?

Military attorneys and pro bono attorneys who are registered with the ABA Military Pro Bono Project or ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network may search the password-secured Operation Stand-By lists of attorneys by state and legal area to find an appropriate volunteer to contact via phone or email.

Military attorneys and pro bono attorneys may ask legal questions relating to your geographic area and substantive areas of expertise, so they can better assist their servicemember clients. Before discussing specific facts about a particular case, you may want to conduct a conflict check.

There is no expectation that you will provide pro bono representation for the attorneys’ clients. Military attorneys and pro bono attorneys are prohibited from providing the contact information on the Operation Stand-By lists to their clients or other individuals, unless you explicitly give permission to share your information.

  • Am I required to provide advice to all attorneys who contact me?

Although we hope that you will provide attorney-to-attorney advice to the military attorneys and pro bono attorneys who contact you through Operation Stand-By, you may decline to provide advice. Please respond to the attorney and briefly explain the reason why you are unable to provide advice for their question (e.g., you do not feel qualified to provide advice in response to a particular question), so the military attorney or pro bono attorney knows to contact an alternate Operation Stand-By volunteer.

Get Advice for your Pro Bono Case

If you are an attorney who is registered with and handling a case through the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network, or another pro bono organization, and you find that you need attorney-to-attorney advice while representing your servicemember or veteran client, you may contact an Operation Stand-By volunteer attorney for general guidance.

You can find the password-secured Operation Stand-By lists under the For Military Attorney tab. Before contacting an attorney, please read and follow the information on the first page of the Operation Stand-By state list.


Thank you to the ABA Section of Family Law Military Committee for its help in creating Operation Stand-By!