State Bar of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2014
Lowell Brown, communications division director
State Bar of Texas
800-204, 2222, ext. 1713, or 512-427-1713
State Bar of Texas to honor Jefferson County Bar Association at Annual Meeting
AUSTIN — Presentations of awards honoring exceptional service to the public and the legal profession will be a highlight of the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, to be held June 26-27 at the Hilton Austin and Austin Convention Center.
The Jefferson County Bar Association is among the groups being honored. The association will receive the following awards:
- Award of Merit: The Jefferson County Bar Association counts 89.5 percent of Jefferson County’s 650 attorneys among its membership, and continues to provide services to both its members and the community. In 2013, the bar provided opportunities for continuing legal education hours in 18 practice areas, many of which were free. The association hosted a seminar for parents, family members, and educators of children with special needs with information to ensure that their children are receiving a free and appropriate education in public schools. To increase access to justice, 130 members donated 2,382 pro bono hours, which amounts to more than $508,374 in monetary figures. The association launched the inaugural Legal Line during national Pro Bono Week. During the first three sessions, more than 10 volunteer attorneys fielded 77 calls on three phone lines and Legal Line is now part of the association’s standard monthly programming. Committed to making its Veteran’s Initiative a standing program, the association served 364 veterans with the help of 108 volunteer attorneys through nine legal advice clinics. The association provides legal advice, counsel, and pro bono representation to a five-county region.
- Outstanding Partnership Award: The Jefferson County Bar Association and the Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association partnered with the Shorkey Center, a nonprofit organization serving children with physical disabilities or autism, to provide a free seminar to address legal needs of parents of children with special needs. Legal presentations included a basic overview of legal entitlements under the public education system, the proper steps to advocate for one’s child, the nuts and bolts of estate planning, and guardianship issues of special-needs children. The seminar drew an overwhelming response, with 91 attendees including parents, family members, educators, and attorneys. The JCBA and the JCYLA are working to implement the program annually.
- Star of Achievement Award: In recognition of National Celebrate Pro Bono Week, the Jefferson County Bar Association launched its inaugural program, Legal Line. The public service program is designed to help answer legal questions, give brief advice, and provide the public with additional resources to assist with legal needs. The goal of the program is to educate the public on how the legal system works and decrease the amount of lawsuits, relieving the number of legal aid applications in the area. Due to an overwhelming response from the public, the association decided to make Legal Line a standing monthly program. During the first session, 10 volunteer attorneys answered 71 calls and advised callers on 77 legal issues.
For more information about the Annual Meeting, visit www.texasbar.com/annualmeeting.
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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. For more information, visit www.texasbar.com.