Two lawyers who recently opened a new law firm in Mt. Nice plan to offer free legal advice to veterans in Gratiot, Clare and Isabella counties.
TJ Pierce and Kyle DeCloux are both US Army veterans who have completed periods of service in the Middle East.
Pierce, a native of St. Louis, served as a forward observer in Iraq and Afghanistan where he was wounded and received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, while DeCloux, a native of Wisconsin, was deployed to Afghanistan in as a doctor.
“One of the reasons I went to law school was to be able to stand up for veterans,” said Pierce, a Central Michigan University graduate. “I believe there are a lot of situations where veterans find themselves with some sort of legal problem and they don’t have the financial resources available to get the help they need.
“My partner and I understand that we will not be able to truly represent most of the veterans in the legal issue they are facing, but we hope we can at least provide them with legal advice so that they know how to help themselves. . . “
While attending Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University, Pierce volunteered for the Veterans Legal Assistance Program at the Homeless Service Center in Grand Rapids, Virginia.
“We’re basically trying to model our clinic here in central Michigan after the clinic I volunteered at,” he said.
“These types of clinics are often found in large cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids and these services are rarely offered in rural communities. We would like to change that.
Pierce is a general practitioner specializing in family law, estate planning, business law and civil litigation.
DeCloux, who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and his law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, is a criminal defense attorney who handles personal injury and civil rights claims. He was actually a chemist before he became a lawyer and also has specialized skills in analyzing forensic evidence.
This week they will begin offering their pro bono clinics from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Alma VFW station where Pierce is a member.
“Finally, we would eventually like to add the shepherd, Mt. Messages from Pleasant and Clare, ”he said.
“Even though the program takes place in a VFW, the program is for all veterans, whether they are VFW members or are eligible for VFW membership. In certain circumstances, spouses of deceased veterans may also participate.
These types of cases typically involve veterans estates or VA benefits, Pierce added.
For more information, call DeCloux & Pierce Law at 989-317-3989, or visit the firm’s website or Facebook page.