Awards

Annual Awards

ATJ Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Award

The ATJ Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Award was created to recognize outstanding corporate counsel attorneys who provide pro bono legal services for the poor and promote pro bono culture within the corporate framework. The award is open to any individual corporate counsel or in-house attorney in Texas and is presented annually at the State Bar Annual Meeting in June. Applications are accepted during the late fall/early spring of each year.

ATJ Law School Commitment to Service Award

The ATJ Law School Commitment to Service Award honors a law school that has carried forward one of the finest traditions of the legal profession by actively educating its students about access to justice issues.. This award is open to all accredited law schools in Texas and is presented annually at the New Lawyer Induction Ceremony in November in Austin. Applications are accepted during the late summer/early fall of each year.

ATJ Law Student Pro Bono Award

The ATJ Law Student Pro Bono Award recognizes a student or recent graduate whose pro bono work has made a significant impact on the community and reflects the following:

  • a passion for advocating on behalf of underserved populations, demonstrated by work for that population during law school, and/or intent to practice law on behalf of that population after graduation;
  • substantial performance of legal pro bono service (as opposed to general public service); and
  • involvement in public service-oriented law student groups.

This award is open to all law students currently enrolled at an accredited Texas law school or to former students who have graduated within six months prior to the application deadline. This award is presented annually at the New Lawyer Induction Ceremony in November in Austin. Applications are accepted during the late summer/early fall of each year.

Deborah G. Hankinson Award

The Deborah G. Hankinson Award honors local bar associations and young lawyer affiliates that demonstrate a commitment to access to justice in their communities and to raising financial support for legal service providers on a local and statewide basis. These awards are presented annually at the Bar Leaders Conference in July. Applications are accepted during the late winter/early spring of each year. Nominations may also be submitted in conjunction with the “Stars of Texas Bars” Award nomination form.

James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award

The James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award recognizes a legal services program attorney or pro bono attorney who is an exemplary advocate and gives selflessly of his/her time and talent to provide legal help to low-income Texans. This award is presented at the Commission’s gala in the spring. Attorneys can be nominated at any time for the James Sales award. Those interested in nominating themselves or someone else should email atjmail@texasbar.com with a detailed description of the nominee’s work and why he or she is an excellent candidate for the award.

Magna Stella Pro Bono Award

Given in conjunction with the General Counsel Forum, the Magna Stella Pro Bono Award recognizes a corporate legal department’s members' efforts to promote pro bono legal services within the corporate structure and their organization at large. This award is presented in November at the General Counsel Forum’s Magna Stella Dinner in San Antonio. Applications are accepted during the late summer/early fall of each year.

Pro Bono Service Award

The Pro Bono Service Award recognizes State Bar of Texas sections and bar organizations that create self-sustaining pro bono projects which motivate lawyers from specialized practice areas to provide pro bono legal assistance directly to poor Texans. Applications are accepted during the late winter/early spring of each year. These awards are presented annually at the Bar Leaders Conference in July. Applications are accepted during the late winter/early spring of each year.

Non-Annual Awards  (Given as the Commission Deems Appropriate)

Emily C. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award

The Emily C. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award reflects the highest honor given for a career dedicated to supporting legal services for poor Texans. This award, named for the first Executive Director of the Commission, recognizes an outstanding individual whose extraordinary spirit and demonstrated commitment to legal services has improved our society and inspired others.

ATJ Star of Justice Award

The Star of Justice Award recognizes individuals who have done exceptional work on behalf of legal services to the poor and who improve access to justice for all Texans. Recipients of the award have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their work and have advanced the access to justice movement. Attorneys can be nominated at any time by submitting an email to atjmail@texasbar.com with a detailed description of the nominee’s work and why she or he is an excellent candidate for the award.