The State Bar of Texas, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association, and others proudly support National Pro Bono Celebration Week (Oct. 23-29). Pro Bono week is an opportunity to educate the public about the good work the legal community does to improve the lives of vulnerable Texans and to encourage more individuals to get involved in pro bono support of the legal system.
During the week we will feature stories of pro bono volunteers that first appeared in LegalFront, an electronic publication put out by the Legal Access Division of the State Bar of Texas.
René J. Mouledoux – retired senior counsel for Exxon-Mobil
René J. Mouledoux retired this year from Exxon-Mobil after a stellar career as a litigation lawyer. Mouledoux spent the last six years of his career based in Houston, where in his spare time he helped hopeful immigrants fill out the paperwork they needed to apply for U.S. citizenship at Catholic Charities’ citizenship workshops.
Mouledoux is Catholic Charities’ heavyweight champion of volunteers. He is known to always pitch in if there are last-minute volunteer cancellations or if the agency finds itself short-staffed.
Just three weeks after retirement, Mouledoux participated in training to become a volunteer in the agency’s DACA program. Homeland Security’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allows eligible young adult immigrants apply for a two-year permit which allows them to work legally and pursue higher education. They must reapply every two years.
Mouledoux also has been long active in the Houston Bar Association’s Legal Lines program, volunteering his services in civil matters to low-income Houstonians who can’t get help any other way.
For his constant dedication, Mouledoux is being honored by St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance as this month’s Pro Bono Ambassador. The Cabrini Center is dedicated to providing high quality, low-cost and pro bono legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees who would otherwise not be able to obtain legal representation. Clients include human trafficking victims, people hoping to be reunited with family members, and individuals who fear persecution in their home country. Center activities include outreach, legal assessment and counseling, citizenship application assistance, legal representation and advocacy.