In October, the State Bar of Texas Legal Access Division issued a Pro Bono Challenge to the sections of the State Bar. The idea was to recognize the sections for their pro bono participation and add to the competitive spirit among them.

It appears to be working.

Since the challenge began, members have assigned approximately 9,505 pro bono hours to their respective sections! Below are the current leaders.

Top 7 Sections by Number of Hours Reported:
1. Family Law – 2,579
2. Immigration and Nationality Law – 1,168
3. Litigation – 871
4. Criminal Justice – 761
5. Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Law – 705
6. Appellate – 652
7. General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm – 617

Top 7 Sections by Percentage Participation:
1. Immigration and Nationality Law
2. Family Law
3. Criminal Justice
4. Alternative Dispute Resolution
5. Appellate
6. Individual Rights and Responsibilities
7. Bankruptcy Law

The challenge will run through the end of the bar year (May 31, 2014), so it is not too late to take a pro bono case and report the hours. If you have any questions about finding a pro bono opportunity or reporting, please contact the Legal Access Division at 800-204-2222, ext. 1837, or

Instructions for Pro Bono Challenge:
To log pro bono hours, attorneys simply log in to their My Bar Page and click on the Add Pro Bono Hours page. Now members can also assign their hours to a section or combination of sections by making multiple entries through the “add hours” tab. (Members may only count their pro bono hours once, though.) Winners of the Pro Bono Challenge will be selected in two categories: (1) the highest number of hours reported by a section; and (2) the highest percentage of section members reporting pro bono hours. Winners will be recognized at a special reception at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, in the Texas Bar Journal, and in other media.