Several law firms and attorneys were honored at a Texas Access to Justice Commission reception Monday for their commitment to supporting legal aid.

The event was held in conjunction with Celebrate Pro Bono Week, a national program that highlights the importance of expanding access to justice through free legal help.

State Bar of Texas Board of Directors Chair Jose “Joe” Escobedo presented awards to longtime members of the Pro Bono College, including Christina Melton Crain of Unlocking DOORS in Dallas and attorney Joe Connors of McAllen for their 20-year membership and past State Bar President William O. Whitehurst of Austin and attorney Ned Dennis of Marshall for their 25-year membership.

The law firms that have donated the highest dollar amounts to date to the commission’s ongoing Access to Justice Campaign were honored for their contributions, including Andrews Kurth, Baker Botts, Jackson Walker, Locke Lord, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Vinson & Elkins.

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr received honorable mention recognition for its contributions and an innovative fundraising effort, the “Sticky Fly,” which brought attention to the commission’s effort to raise funds for civil legal aid in Texas.

Firms with 100 percent participation in the fundraiser were also honored at the reception, including Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, Davidson Troilo Ream & Garza, Lynch Chappell & Alsup, Nathan Sommers Jacobs, Rusty Hardin & Associates, Scott Douglass & McConnico, and Zelle.

So far, the campaign has brought in more than $1.3 million from attorneys and firms across the state.


Photographs courtesy of the Texas Access to Justice Commission. Top: State Bar of Texas Board of Directors Chair Jose “Joe” Escobedo presents awards to longtime members of the Pro Bono College. Above: Winners of awards at the reception with Texas Access to Justice Commission Executive Director Trish McAllister (far left) and Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman (second from right) and Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht (far right).