State Bar of Texas Blog

Pro Bono Profile: Raquel West of Beaumont

The National Pro Bono Celebration is Oct. 25 to 31, 2009. Each weekday in October, Texas Bar Blog will feature a Texas attorney who provides pro bono services in the community. Without lawyers like these, too many of our most vulnerable citizens would go without legal representation. For more on the national celebration, visit

Raquel West is chair of the Jefferson County Bar Association (JCBA) Family Law Section and a solo practitioner. She does pro bono work through the JCBA and Lone Star Legal Aid, the agencies through which pro bono in her area are coordinated. West has never turned down a pro bono case.

West tries to always have one complex pro bono case or several non-complex pro bono cases, so she usually has at least two or three active pro bono cases at a time. Cases include divorces, custody, and protective orders. West is currently working on a national adoption day case, in which a grandmother wants to adopt her grandchildren in coordination with the National Adoption Day ceremonies.

West says she does pro bono because, throughout her years as an attorney, when she goes to court she sees how difficult it is for someone without an attorney to represent themselves. She sees an unfairness and imbalance in that. “Everyone needs representation,” West says. Many times these people are not involved in criminal cases, so they do not qualify for a court-appointed attorney.

West gets great satisfaction in helping pro bono clients because she sees how much they truly appreciate being helped. “It is very rewarding,” says West. Currently, West is working with a ”repeat customer” who still qualifies for legal aid and needed additional help so she came back to request West’s help. West said she finds it extremely rewarding that the client wanted to keep her as her pro bono attorney.

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Angie Harrison - May 4, 2011 11:36 AM

Raquel is an extremely gifted attorney. We have hired her once in the past and I must say she left an impression both professionally and personally that my husband and I will never forget. She gets the job done and she doesnt back down when it comes to representing you and the things you wish to get accomplished in your court case. She is honest in laying out what could happen but ultimately leaves it up to you as to what you would like to acheive. Most importantly, she stands by you completely. She is worth every penny and in my opinion a true lady. So much so we won't consider hiring anyone else but her in all future cases we may find ourselves involved in. I mean who in the world gets excited about hiring an attorney? Well, once you've met her and had an opportunity to work with her, you'll feel the same way we do. She is a phenominal person in every way:)

Davi Nabors - October 8, 2009 2:01 PM

Blessed to be a blessing! Raquel's compassion and generousity are simply a natural extention of who she is and what she deeply believes in. She's an amazingly gifted attoney with a heart of gold and a passion for justice and truth. I'm honored to call her Friend!
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