Thirty-nine first responders received free legal services from lawyers from Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP and in-house counsel from Exelon Corporation at the first Wills for Heroes event held in Pennsylvania.

Wills for Heroes is a nonprofit organization created in response to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Thousands of first responders risked their lives to save fellow Americans, and more than 400 firefighters and police officers made the ultimate sacrifice, many without estate plans. Through Wills for Heroes, volunteer lawyers provide free estate planning, including free wills, living wills, and healthcare and financial powers of attorney, to first responders and their spouses or domestic partners. Since November 2001,Wills for Heroes has prepared more than 8,000 estate-planning documents for first responders.

"Every day first responders put their lives at risk to protect us," said Daniel J.T. McKenna, an associate in Ballard's Litigation Department and member of the Wills for Heroes Foundation.   "Providing this service allows lawyers and non-lawyers alike to assist and thank the men and women who devote their lives to serving their communities."

The first Wills for Heroes event held in Pennsylvania took place at Exelon Nuclear's Limerick Generation Station. Prior to arriving, the first responders completed an estate-planning questionnaire. Onsite, the volunteers generated a basic will and other life-planning documents that were signed and notarized before each participant left. All services were provided free of charge.

"Exelon is pleased to team with Ballard to provide these services to the men and women that ensure our safety," said Christopher H. Mudrick, site vice president at the Limerick Generating Station. "We have a sophisticated emergency response plan that our first responders are prepared to carry out in the interest of public safety. Wills for Heroes is a practical way to show our appreciation to these dedicated individuals."

Ballard has named Wills for Heroes as a 2008 Public Service Project and has helped provide more than 350 wills to first responders this year alone. The firm has participated in Wills for Heroes events across the nation, including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C.

"Ballard's commitment to bring this much needed program to our local first responders and Exelon's dedication to being a good neighbor and supporting its local community is a perfect combination to provide Pennsylvania with its first Wills for Heroes program," said Lynn E. Rzonca, managing partner of Ballard's Philadelphia office. "Ballard's and Exelon's teamwork ensured this was a successful event."