Amateurs often look to the ARRL for assistance and resources to help them present information to their local city, county or neighborhood associations that are attempting to hamper their radio activities. One valuable but neglected asset of the ARRL has been the Volunteer Counsel Program. Originally designed to provide Amateurs with a local attorney who was versed on Amateur issues, VC’s have often felt inadequately supported.
In 2010, Director Woolweaver made this issue a part of his election platform and has worked to design a new working model for the VC program. Having consulted with several VC’s in the Division, K5RAV identified a need for a national VC reflector that allowed the League to quickly disburse information and a secure document website where the attorneys could share information, query other VC’s on issues facing them, all the while maintaining their confidentiality needs. A national program will also enhance the ARRL’s ability to disburse information regarding applicable FCC changes that may not be readily apparent to the volunteer attorneys. Also, under consideration for the future, is the potential for Continuing Legal Education programs specifically designed with Amateur Radio driven content.
Woolweaver presented the proposal to the Program and Services Committee to consider in January 2011. PSC approved Director Woolweaver’s program in October 2011. During his visit to HQ in January, implementation was foremost on his mind; consequently, Woolweaver visited with Regulatory Information Manager, Dan Henderson, N1ND and ARRL Chief Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD to get it launched.
On March 15, ARRL representatives will host the first VC webinar to discuss the revamped program. This is not a public webinar – however, if you are currently an ARRL Volunteer Counsel, or if you are a licensed attorney and would consider becoming a Volunteer Counsel, we would encourage you to participate in this webinar. Please contact Director Woolweaver at K5RAV@arrl.org for more detailed webinar information.
To become more familiar with the Volunteer Counsel program or to seek out a VC in your area, please visit http://www.arrl.org/VC-Description.