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Awards

ANNUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE (ATJ) AWARDS

ATJ CORPORATE COUNSEL PRO BONO AWARD 

Established by the Commission in 2008, the ATJ Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Award is open to an individual corporate counsel and in-house attorneys in Texas. The Commission seeks to recognize an outstanding corporate counsel attorney who actively provides pro bono legal services for the poor and promotes this pro bono culture within the corporate framework. This award is presented annually at the State Bar Annual Meeting in June. 

ATJ LAW SCHOOL COMMITMENT TO SERVICE AWARD

The ATJ Law School Commitment to Service Award honors the law school that has most distinguished itself by actively educating its students about access to justice issues, thereby carrying forward one of the finest traditions of the legal profession. It is open to all accredited law schools in Texas. This award is presented annually at the New Lawyer Induction Ceremony in November in Austin.

ATJ LAW STUDENT PRO BONO AWARD

The ATJ Law Student Pro Bono Award is open to all law students currently enrolled at or graduating from an accredited Texas law school and recognizes a student whose pro bono work has made a significant impact on the community and reflects the following:

  • a passion for advocating oh 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 presented annually at the New Lawyer Induction Ceremony in November in Austin.

ATJ LEGISLATIVE HERO AWARD

The Commission with the Texas Access to Justice Foundation launched the Legislative Hero Award program in 2010 to recognize legislators who, through their efforts, have significantly advanced access to justice in Texas by assisting with the appropriation of funds and/or other substantive activities related to the provision of legal aid in the state.  Legislative heroes are key players in advancing access to justice to low-income Texans throughout the state.

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. The Commission revised its criteria for this award and now uses an application process to determine local bar associations and young lawyer affiliates award recipients. These awards are presented annually at the Bar Leaders Conference in July. 

JAMES B. SALES BOOTS ON THE GROUND AWARD

The James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award recognizes a legal services program attorney or a pro bono attorney who is an exemplary advocate, who gives selflessly of his/her time and talent to provide legal help to those who have no voice. 

MAGNA STELLA PRO BONO AWARD 

In conjunction with the Texas General Counsel Forum, the Commission established the Magna Stella Pro Bono Award in 2008 to recognize a corporate legal department its 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 Magna Stella Dinner in San Antonio.

PRO BONO SERVICE AWARD 

Developed in 2008, the Pro Bono Service Award encourages State Bar of Texas sections and bar organizations to create self-sustaining pro bono projects that motivate lawyers from specialized practice areas to provide pro bono legal assistance directly to poor Texans. These awards are presented annually at the Bar Leaders Conference in July. 

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 former Executive Director of the Commission, will recognize 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 dedication to improving access to justice for low-income Texans.

 
   
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