State Bar of Texas
June 24, 2008

Contact: Kim Davey, 512.427.1713 or 800.204.2222 x 1713

Austin Area Individuals Honored by State Bar of Texas

( Austin) – Presentation of awards honoring exceptional service to the public and the legal profession will be a highlight of the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, June 26-27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

The following Austin area individuals are among those being honored: Jim Furgeson of McCallum High School – Leon Jaworski Award for Teaching Excellence. The Jaworski Award recognizes educators who have made an outstanding contribution to law focused education and whose programs: 1) foster understanding of the values of our legal and judicial systems; 2) inform and educate students as to the roles in society of the law, the courts, law enforcement agencies, and the legal profession; 3) stimulate a deeper sense of individual responsibility, instructing students to recognize their duties as well as their rights; 4) encourage effective law focused education programs in their schools or communities; and 5) increase communication and understanding between students, educators, and those involved professionally in the legal system.

Karin Crump – Nancy L. Garms Memorial Award, for outstanding contributions to law focused education. While TYLA president in 2006-07, Crump created "They Had a Dream Too: Young Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement," a multimedia project about how students 50 years ago had a profound impact on shaping current civil rights laws. "They Had a Dream Too" assists educators, challenges and inspires students, and helps build future leaders. The project has won national awards and is now teaching thousands of students – not just in Texas but across the country – about their history and their duty to become leaders in their own community.

Rodney L. Nelson of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, J. Chrys Dougherty Legal Services Award, presented by the State Bar Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee. Nelson has served as a legal services attorney for 32 years. Currently, he works as supervising attorney for pro bono outreach clinics involving Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Serving an average of 80 persons per week, the pro bono outreach clinics have been an outstanding success in Travis County. Nelson serves as a mentor to staff attorneys and paralegals who take advantage of his broad knowledge of all areas of law affecting poor families. He offers support to pro bono attorneys on substantive legal issues, and participates in clinic interviews, advising clients. He is a true advocate of access to justice.

Professor Alexandra Albright, Martha S. Dickie, Richard C. Hile and Carl Reynolds Presidential Citations, presented by outgoing president Gib Walton, to honor their dedication to the judicial and legislative processes, and their generous gifts of time and energy to help ensure that judges and lawyers have a voice and a role in changes to the administration of justice in the Texas court system. David Courreges – Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) President's Award. A first year TYLA Director, Courreges assisted in planning and implementing the National Trial Competition finals, the statewide Bar Leaders Conference, editing and contributing articles to the TYLA eNews, and assisting with long range planning. He was instrumental in planning and coordinating TYLA's "They Had a Dream Too" rollout in Austin, where over 350 students from high schools across the state converged on the Texas Capitol to participate in the civil rights program and legal education activities. Ultimately, he helped involve more than 4,000 students in the program. Courreges was a key contributor to the content of TYLA's "You're Hired! Now What? Knowing Your Rights on Your First Job" video project, coordinated by TYLA's Law Focused Education Committee, and presented the program to the Austin Independent School District.

Krista Chacona, Clint Harbour and Laura Miles-Valdez TYLA President's Awards of Merit, for their leadership in managing the National Trial Competition, including recruitment and coordination of hundreds of volunteer judges, and ensuring an exceptional learning experience for law students from throughout the country. Zachary Hall TYLA President's Award of Merit, for helping to ensure an outstanding experience for law student participants in state moot courts.

Jim Harrington – Civil Rights Award, presented by the Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.