After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Anthony C. Hayes, a partner in Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Columbia, SC, and Jeffrey H. Jacobson, an attorney with a private practice in Tucson, AZ, founded the Wills for Heroes Foundation as a means to provide pro bono estate planning services to firefighters, police officers, paramedics and other emergency first responders who risk their lives every day to keep us safe in our local communities.
LexisNexis supports Wills for Heroes by donating the HotDocs document assembly software used by attorneys who draft wills and other estate planning documents free of charge at Wills for Heroes events currently held in seven states. The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, which has named Wills for Heroes as its Public Service Project for 2007-2008, has acknowledged LexisNexis as a key supporter in its efforts to take the program nationwide.
LexisNexis also supports the Wills for Heroes Foundation through community outreach activities aimed at promoting the organization and its programs, educating the legal community on how they can get involved, and recruiting attorneys to participate in Wills for Heroes events. At one such event, held for the benefit of the San Francisco Fire Department, ten local attorneys volunteered five to six hours each preparing estate planning documents using our HotDocs software on laptops donated through our PC donation program. None of the attorneys had used HotDocs before, but after only one hour of training by several LexisNexis employee volunteers, the attorneys produced documents for 40 city firefighters and their spouses/partners.
During the 2007 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the LexisNexis Cares-Wills for Heroes exhibit table at the National Association of Bar Executives/National Conference of Bar Presidents/National Conference of Bar Foundations program attracted significant visitors and interest in the project from the leaders of state and local bar associations across the country.