Many local bar associations strive to make access to justice a reality for so many in their communities around the state of Texas. Do you know of a stellar program that isn't listed - please let us know.
Pro Bono Programs
Here are some examples of local bar pro bono programs to spark ideas:
CANLAW Clinic (Austin Bar Association) provides free estate-planning services to cancer survivors and their caregivers. Through a one-stop-shop clinic, a will, medical power of attorney, statutory durable power of attorney, advanced directive, and HIPAA release are provided during the clinic hours. The purpose is to serve the cancer community by providing professional skills to assist clients who are going through an already difficult time. The mission is to minimize the many barriers, including financial, time, and emotional, that keep cancer patients from planning for the future.
People's Law School (Tarrant County Bar Association) is held annually in the spring and is the public's opportunity to learn the basics of common legal issues. Participants can attend three sessions. Sessions are 50 minutes long and taught by local attorneys.
Pro Bono Challenge (Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association) is in partnership with Baylor Law School, to promote, expand, and highlight the pro bono activities of licensed lawyers in McLennanCounty, TX. The Challenge was created in 2015 after brainstorming ideas to increase service to the community and meet the needs of its residents. The Annual Pro Bono Challenge is the vehicle through which young lawyers promote local pro bono opportunities, encourage other lawyers to participate in pro bono initiatives, record the hours volunteered by McLennan County lawyers, and recognize those who have donated their time and talent to the cause.
Wills for Heroes Clinic (Lubbock Area Bar Association) is sponsored by the Pro Bono Committee, in partnership with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas and Texas Tech Univesity School of Law. Volunteer attorneys meet with veterans pre-screened for eligibility by legal aid for an evening clinic to prepare Wills and, if requested, other advance planning documents (e.g. Health Care Power of Attorney & HIPAA Release, Statutory Durable Power of Attorney, and Advance Directives). Texas Tech law students act as witnesses.
Texas Bar Foundation solicits charitable contributions and provides funding to enhance the rule of law and the system of justice in Texas, especially for programs that relate to the administration of justice; ethics in the legal profession; legal assistance for the needy; the encouragement of legal research, publications and forums; and the education of the public.
Texas Bar College Board of Directors established a CLE Subsidy Grant program to assist local and minority bar associations and pro bono organizations that have limited resources in bringing quality CLE activities to their areas; fill a need for attorneys in the geographic area served, and; not already be otherwise available in that geographic area. Applications will be based on need and reviewed by a State Bar College Board subcommittee, with a maximum annual grant limit of $5,000 per association. Grant proposals will be voted on by the College Board at regular meetings held in the fall, at mid-year, and in the spring.
Litigation Section is organized to promote the ends of justice through education and non-profit activities and services which improve the administration of our justice system, which advance public education and understanding of our judicial system, and which are sensitive to the needs of the public as well as the legal profession.The grant program awards varying amounts to promote educational and charitable activities that improve the administration of our justice system, advance public education and understanding of the judicial system, and are sensitive to the needs of the public and the legal profession. The Litigation Section Grant Program seeks to support and promote programs which improve and support the Texas justice system through research, services, publications, institutes, forums and public education.
Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section Grant Program's Grant Program is administered by its Public Service Committee. Grants are awarded to fund projects that improve the civil justice process or provide access to the civil justice system and or fundamental legal services for Texans who are typically underserved by the legal system. Priority consideration is given to requests in the following areas: real estate law, landlord/tenant law, estate planning, elder law, disability law, foreclosures, guardianships and legal issues surrounding veterans.
Labor and Employment Section annually awards tens of thousands of dollars in grants and internships to worthy pro bono projects and initiatives across the state which tie into labor or employment law interests.