Oklahoma Bar Journal

Young Lawyers Division | The YLD’s Call to Service Goes to Those Who Answer Heroic Calls

By Caroline Shaffer Siex

Ten attorneys volunteered to help Oklahoma first responders, emergency personnel and veterans during the Wills for Heroes event on July 29 at the Shangri-La Resort in Afton.

Heroes often appear in tales of bravery, hope and adventure. They have been popular since ancient Greece. However, we forget that some of these tales have a dark part: As our heroes rise to help us, they, unfortunately, might fall.

When the unexpected happens, the heroes who served us leave behind their legacy. Likewise, they leave behind loved ones. In a small effort to honor their work, the Oklahoma Bar Association has maintained a Wills for Heroes program. The program helps those who serve their communities by offering no-cost legal assistance in the areas of wills and estate planning. The Wills for Heroes program serves first responders, emergency personnel and veterans.

The program is offered by volunteer attorneys who provide their time to assist the community. It has, for a number of years, been the responsibility of the OBA Young Lawyers Division to sponsor these events. During that time, the program has changed locations to increase participation and awareness.

YLD members provide free legal services to a client during the Wills for Heroes event.

The YLD hosted a Wills for Heroes event in northeastern Oklahoma at the Shangri-La Resort on July 29. The event allowed for multiple wills to be created for “heroes.” Most of the YLD board was present, with one board member being based in the area.

This is the second event in the past few years that the YLD has participated in in the northeastern Oklahoma area. In 2019, the YLD partnered with Lee | Coats Law PLC to host an event in Vinita, which was also successful in providing a number of heroes with wills. In 2018, the YLD hosted an event in Broken Arrow around the time of the Solo & Small Firm Conference. This event launched the success that followed in helping the heroes.

The YLD continues to work on expanding this program and hopes that future partnerships with law firms or other vendors will help in creating a larger event next year. I know so many board members are dedicated to offering their services on the YLD board, and my successor, Laura Talbert, will continue leading everyone to offer a little bit back to heroes. If you would like to sponsor or host future Wills for Heroes events, contact the current chair at cshaffer@gablawyers.com and/or the chair-elect at lrtalbert@gmail.com.


Ms. Shaffer Siex practices in Tulsa and serves as the YLD chair. She may be contacted at cshaffer@gablawyers.com.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 Vol 7 (September 2023)

Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.