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January 03, 2018 - Press Release

Texas Governor appoints Andrew Oldham to the Commission

Andrew Oldham, General Counsel to the Governor, has been appointed by the Texas Governor as liaison to the Commission. Oldham advises the Governor on a range of issues under federal and state law, manages litigation in which the Governor is an interested party, and serves as a frequent lecturer on matters involving the rule of law, the U.S. Constitution, administrative law, federal courts, and federalism. “Mr. Oldham is a brilliantly talented lawyer and has experience at many levels of both state and federal governments. We look forward to his contributions on achieving access to justice in Texas,” said Harry M. Reasoner, chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission.  More »

December 18, 2017 - Publications

Life Changing Nickels and Dimes

Book Review: Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” To learn how the working poor survive, author Barbara Ehrenreich lived in three different U.S. cities for a month at a time, working low-paying jobs, at or near minimum wage, and living in housing she could afford on her wages. Ehrenreich’s experience pales in comparison to what it is like to actually be a person living in poverty, navigating everyday life with no money, a stable place to live, access to health care, or the ability to take a day off. However, her realizations serve as a good introduction for people who have not experienced life in poverty and have the power to shatter implicit biases against the working poor by exposing a microcosm of their struggles. More »

December 18, 2017 - Publications

Finding Access through Interpretation

When the police responded to a domestic violence call at Layla’s house, they took Layla and her children to a women’s shelter. She’d attempted to leave several times before, but each time her husband would force her back home. With assistance from the women’s shelter staff and a local community program, Layla gathered enough courage to reach out to legal aid. A Texas resident for several years, Layla spoke English but wasn’t proficient enough to convey or understand some of the complex legal terms she knew would be involved if she tried to get legal help. She would need an interpreter.  More »

December 18, 2017 - Publications

Step Into My Shoes: The Experience of Legal Aid Clients

Learn about the two very different paths a legal aid client could take in the face of a life-changing legal issue.  More »

November 20, 2017 - Press Release

UNT Dallas College of Law Soaks up the Spotlight

The Commission presented John VanBuskirk, a third-year law student enrolled at the UNT Dallas College of Law, with the Law Student Pro Bono Award, and UNT Dallas College of Law Dean Royal Furgeson was presented the Law School Commitment to Service Award on behalf of the law school during the New Lawyer Induction Ceremony in Austin. More »

October 27, 2017 - Publications

A Celebration that lasts longer than a moment

If ever someone was to question whether attorneys still possess a spirit of pro bono, one needs to look no further than the overwhelming outpour of attorney volunteers in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Over 2,300 lawyers in Texas and around the nation demonstrated their commitment to helping others as they offered their services, including staffing shifts at shelters and fielding questions through the online portal, Texas Legal Answers. As National Pro Bono week comes to an end… More »

October 27, 2017 - Publications

Quality legal services for those who need them most

The Commission’s James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award recipient, Efrén Olivares shares his childhood experiences as an immigrant that fuel his passion for the work he does with the Texas Civil Rights Project and affirms his strong belief in the life-changing power of pro bono work. More »