AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Access to Justice Commission (“Commission”) kicked off Texas Pro Bono Week on Monday, October 25th with an awards presentation during the quarterly Commission meeting. The presentation honored the first-ever 30-year Pro Bono College Member, attorney Ned Dennis, and the law firms and attorneys who support access to justice efforts in Texas through the annual Champions of Justice Firm Competition.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Brett Busby, the Supreme Court’s liaison to the Commission, presented awards to the 2021 Champions of Justice law firms that were commended for their outstanding support of the year-long fundraising effort called the Justice for All Campaign. The Firm Competition portion of the Justice for All campaign raised a total of $412,240. Each donation fuels legal help for income-eligible people with urgent civil legal needs and funds systemic access to justice reform in Texas.
Justice Busby welcomed delegates from each winning law firm and each award recipient gave short remarks on their firm and the collective commitment to access to justice.
Busby said, “The financial contributions made by firms through the Champions of Justice Firm Competition have shown incredible generosity. These funds mean that legal aid organizations can continue to fight unfair evictions, defend consumers against scams, protect victims of human trafficking, and so much more. On behalf of the Commission, we appreciate each firm’s dedication and commitment.”
2021 Champions of Justice Firm Competition Winners
Boutique Firm Size (10-19 Attorneys)
Vela Wood PC, winner of both the highest amount raised and the highest level of participation
Small Firm Size (20-44 Attorneys)
Yetter Coleman LLP, winner of the highest amount raised
Lynch, Chappell, and Alsup, PC winner (tie) of the highest percent participation
Davidson Troilo Ream & Garza, winner (tie) of the highest percent participation
Medium Firm Size (45-89 Attorneys)
Beck Redden LLP, winner of both the highest amount raised and the highest level of participation
Large Firm Size (90+ Attorneys)
Susman Godfrey LLP, winner of the highest level of participation
Vinson & Elkins, winner of the highest amount raised
The 2021 Champions of Justice Firm Competition Winners were also honored in a social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The Winners and Finalists in each category were listed in the October 2021 issue of the Texas Bar Journal. A video recording of the awards presentation is available on the Texas Access to Justice Commission YouTube channel and embedded below.
The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created in 2001 by the Supreme Court of Texas to develop and implement policy initiatives designed to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. The Commission has created several initiatives to increase resources and awareness of legal aid. For more information, please visit www.TexasATJ.org.