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Commission celebrates Pro Bono Week, honors pro bono advocates and law firms
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Access to Justice Commission (TAJC) kicked off National Pro Bono Week yesterday with its annual reception honoring law firms and attorneys who support access to justice in Texas.
Proclamations supporting Pro Bono Week in Texas were issued by the Supreme Court of Texas and Governor Greg Abbott. TAJC’s reception, held at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, supports the American Bar Association’s national effort that highlights the need to expand access to justice by providing pro bono legal services. It was attended by members of the Texas Supreme Court, State Bar of Texas, Texas Access to Justice Foundation, and legal aid service providers..
Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, the Supreme Court’s liaison to TAJC, presented awards to Champion of Justice law firms, noting contributions of more than $158,000.
20-Year Pro Bono College Honorees
Jimmie Lee Culpepper of Jim L. Culpepper & Associates, P.C., Robert Hays Etnyre, Jr. of Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, L.L.P. and Gary Edwin Lee, solo practitioner, all of Houston, were mentioned for their 20-year membership in the Pro Bono College. The Pro Bono College recognizes attorneys who have provided more than 75 hours of pro bono service every year, far exceeding the state Bar of Texas’ aspirational pro bono goal.
Champion of Justice Law Firm Awards
The 2015 Access to Justice Campaign has raised more than $1,143,000 from more than 8,300 attorneys across the state.
Ten firms were recognized for raising the highest dollar amount: Vinson & Elkins, Norton Rose Fulbright, Baker Botts, Andrews Kurth, Jackson Walker, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta and Scott Douglass & McConnico. Both Jones Day and Porter Hedges received honorable mention for their generous contributions.
Six firms received recognition for achieving 100 percent participation: Davidson Troilo Ream & Garza, Nathan Sommers Jacobs, Rusty Hardin & Associates, Zelle Hofmann Voebel & Mason, Scott Douglass & McConnico, and Cantilo & Bennett. Cantilo & Bennett received special recognition for their level of contribution, noting all attorney contributions were double the suggested amount of $150, which made each attorney a Champion of Justice Society member.
Photos from the event can be found on Flickr.
The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created in 2001 by the Supreme Court of Texas to develop and implement policy initiatives designed to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. The Commission has created several initiatives to increase resources and awareness of legal aid. For more information, please visit www.TexasATJ.org.