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 http://www.texascorporatecounsel.com/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=7#.VEUX8ofbbe8.
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 http://www.litigationsection.com/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=167#.VEUtm4fbbe8. To read about the 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration, happening this week, go to http://www.probono.net/celebrateprobono/.