For 17 years, the Corporate Counsel Section of the State Bar of Texas has provided grants to legal service organizations that help encourage and train in-house counsel to participate in pro bono work. Several other State Bar sections—including the Real Estate, Probate, & Trust Law and Immigration sections—have similar programs.

Supported by funding from its annual Corporate Counsel Institute and Lexology, the Corporate Counsel Section’s pro bono grants program has provided approximately $437,000 over the years. In the 2013-2014 bar year, the section gave $43,500 in grants to the following groups:

  • Texas Community Building with Attorney Resources/Legal Assistance to Microenterprise Project, a project of Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, provides free business law services to low-income micro-entrepreneurs and nonprofits serving low-income communities ($10,000).
  • The Beacon’s Cathedral Justice Project, an outreach program of Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, provides legal services to the area’s homeless population ($10,000).
  • Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, the local chapter of this national nonprofit, offers legal representation for immigrant survivors of abuse, persecution, and other human rights violations ($10,000).
  • Tahirih Justice Center focuses on immigration legal services, comprehensive case management, public policy advocacy, and education support for low-income immigrant women and children ($7,500).
  • Texas Access to Justice Commission Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans, an annual event whose proceeds go to programs providing civil legal services to veterans ($5,000). The section also contributed $1,000 to the TAJC Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Award.

For more information about the Corporate Counsel Section’s pro bono grants program, go to

The Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas also recently awarded its annual grants totaling $30,000 to 12 organizations involved in pro bono, educational, and charitable work. For a list of the grant recipients and more information on the Litigation Section’s awards program, go to To read about the 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration, happening this week, go to