Awards

Annual Awards

James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award

Nominations are accepted yearly for the Texas Access to Justice Commission James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award. The award is given to a legal services program attorney or a pro bono attorney who is an exemplary advocate and who gives selflessly of his or her time and talent to provide legal help to those who have no voice. 

Nominations are now CLOSED, email any questions to: atjmail@texasbar.com

This award will be presented at the 2021 Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Harry M. Reasoner Justice for All Award
The Harry M. Reasoner Justice for All Award is named after Texas legal icon and Commission Chair, Harry Reasoner.  Mr. Reasoner embodies the belief that pro bono work is critically important and that lawyers are part of a profession that comes with obligations, including providing legal help and expertise to those who cannot afford it. His unswerving commitment to pro bono has transformed pro bono efforts for Vinson & Elkins. During his tenure as Chair of the Commission, he increased funding to support civil legal aid and brought widespread attention to critical access to justice issues.   

Nominations are accepted yearly for the Commission’s Harry M. Reasoner Justice for All Award. The award is given a Texas attorney, in good standing, who offers exemplary pro bono legal services to low-income Texans demonstrates dedication and commitment to providing pro bono civil legal services for the poor, and promotes a culture of pro bono within the Bar. 

Nominations are now CLOSED, email any questions to: atjmail@texasbar.com

This award will be presented during the 2021 Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. 

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 in November during the New Lawyer Induction Ceremony. Completed nomination forms may be emailed to atjmail@texasbar.com, or mailed to P. O. Box 12487, Austin, Texas 78711-2487. Nominations for this award will be open again in fall 2021.

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. The recipient is presented a $2,000 stipend.  This award is presented in November during the New Lawyer Induction Ceremony. 

Eligible law students or recent graduates may be nominated by a law school dean, clinic professor, legal services supervisor, or they may nominate themselves by submitting a nomination form to the Texas Access to Justice Commission. Each school may have multiple nominees. Completed nomination forms may be emailed to atjmail@texasbar.com, or mailed to P. O. Box 12487, Austin, Texas 78711-2487. Nominations for this award will be open in fall 2021.

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. The award recipient will be presented a $2,000 stipend to donate to a Texas legal services program of their choice. 

Nominations for this award will be open in late spring 2021.

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. Nominations may also be submitted in conjunction with the “Stars of Texas Bars” Award nomination form. 

 

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.