The Texas Access to Justice Commission estimates that only 20% of people who qualify for civil legal services are able to get the legal help they need. Those who don’t receive assistance from legal aid must either attempt to represent themselves or find an attorney who will take their case on a pro bono basis.
Texas attorneys provide about 2.5 million hours of pro bono services per year. These attorneys are vital in helping to provide access to the courts for our 5.7 million poor Texans.
Section 6 of the Preamble to the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct states that lawyers have an ethical obligation to do pro bono and that every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or workload, should be doing pro bono. It also provides assurance that pro bono could be one of the most rewarding experiences of an attorney’s life.
There are many ways to offer pro bono legal services, including working in a legal advice clinic, mentoring another attorney in an area of law in which you have expertise, or taking a case from a legal services organization. For more information on pro bono opportunities across Texas, visit the "Organizations in Need" link on texaslawyershelp.org or contact the State Bar of Texas - Legal Access Division: 800.204.2222, ext. 1855, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corporate Pro Bono Program
Companies looking to start a pro bono program may find it helpful to consult with companies and fellow in-house counsels who have successfully implemented a program within their legal department. The Commission provides a list of these companies’ programs for your reference. If your legal department would like to connect with a peer to talk about their experiences with pro bono, please contact Jocelyn Fowler at JFowler@texasatj.org or 512.427.1859 for the list of company contacts.
Pro Bono Spring Break
During Pro Bono Spring Break, over 50 law students and supervising faculty members travel across the state to volunteer their time helping low-income Texans resolve their civil legal problems. The program is a partnership between the Texas Access to Justice Commission, all ten Texas law schools, and various legal aid providers across the state. Learn more…