I followed this program for many years, but only became involved personally in 2011. See: PA Bar Promotes "Wills for Heroes" Further (07/18/11); "Wills for Heroes" Workshops Multiply in PA & DE (08/03/10); PBA's Young Lawyers Sponsor "Wills for Heroes" (05/06/09); and Firefighters, First Responders, and Free Wills (05/15/08).
Most first responders brought a spouse. Some even brought their young children, who played with toys in a special area.
The first responders had attended an orientation session or had received an explanation package previously. The objectives, benefits, and limitations of the program were explained.
An estate planning questionnaire was distributed for their completion in advance of their scheduled interview at the session. Most had completed that questionnaire; but some arrived sheepishly in hopes of completing a blank one during their interview with a lawyer. Either way was okay.
The process proceeded past sign-in, into a personal, confidential interview with a lawyer seated with a portable computer at a "station". The lawyer then entered data from the questionnaire -- supplemented by responses during the interview -- into document assembly software specifically designed for the WFH program. Special concerns could be addressed, within limits.
#10: You can join hundreds of lawyers in many states who have participated in this program since 2001.
#9: You can eat free food -- donuts and coffee for breakfast, or soft pretzels, pizza, and soda for lunch -- depending upon your shift.
#8: For lawyers, you can meet yourself years ago as a law student, or, for law students, you can meet yourself years from now as a lawyer, and then interact with your doppelgänger.
#7: You can get your name/face in a newsletter or newspaper, or perhaps even on television -- but only if you sign the media consent form -- since such sessions often become local news.
#6: You can brush up on estate planning law during the one-hour participants' orientation session offered before clients arrive.
#5: You can learn about document assembly software, which is checklist-oriented and data-entry based, but which transfers a set of documents into standard word processing software.
#4: You can hone your people skills in a safe and supervised environment.
#3: For lawyers, you can obtain pro bono service credit and recognition.
#2: You can meet some special, dedicated people -- the first responders -- as short-term clients.
#1: You can help first responders, who already work daily to help all of us.