More than 500 members of Austin’s legal community turned out for the Austin Bar Foundation’s annual Gala on Saturday.
The Austin Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the Austin Bar Association. The foundation was established in 2003 to support and expand the provision of legal-related charitable and educational programs and services in Central Texas. Gala attendees enjoyed dinner and dancing while raising funds through both silent and live auctions.
The major beneficiaries of the event were:
- Free Legal Advice Clinic for Veterans: The Austin Bar hosts a monthly legal clinic for military veterans and their families. Since June 2010, Austin Bar attorneys have helped more than 2,300 veterans with a wide variety of legal issues. This year, the program was expanded beyond Travis County through a grant by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. The Free Legal Advice Clinic for Veterans will be offered soon in Williamson County, with other surrounding counties soon to follow.
- Austin Bar in Action’s Self-Represented Litigant Project: The Austin Bar Foundation created this program to provide assistance for self-represented litigants on the uncontested civil docket.
Five outstanding attorneys and judges were honored during the evening for their contributions to Austin’s legal community, and the community at large:
Judge Orlinda Naranjo received the David H. Walter Community Excellence Award, which is presented to an attorney or judge who makes a significant impact in the community and raises the profile of the legal profession.
Thomas L. Ausley was given the Larry F. York Mentoring Award, which goes to a lawyer or judge who has demonstrated exceptional skill and generosity in mentoring younger members of the bar, practiced law for at least 10 years, and served as a role model and counselor to other lawyers.
Judge Lora J. Livingston was awarded the Joseph C. Parker Jr. Diversity Award. This inaugural award was named in honor of Joseph C. Parker Jr., the first African-American president of the Austin Bar Association. Parker has spent his life and work championing the equal, ethical and fair treatment of all people. This award honors a firm or individual who has led the way in bringing diversity to Austin’s legal community.
Complete bios of the winners can be found here.