The 10 members of the first cohort of the Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator received words of support and encouragement from the Texas Supreme Court on June 13, 2017. Justice Phil Johnson spoke to the group gathered in the courtroom and reminded them of their important role in helping those who need access to justice. He praised the continued efforts of Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht and Justice Eva M. Guzman, who have championed access to justice and encouraged others to follow suit.

The Texas Opportunity & Justice Incubator is an innovative approach to legal access that helps new lawyers build sustainable practices that serve low- and modest-income Texans. The first cohort started the program on April 3 at offices in Austin. After completing an intensive three-week “boot camp” training session, they began building their individual law practices.

“The importance of having the unequivocal support of the Texas Supreme Court cannot be overstated,” said 2016-2017 State Bar President Frank Stevenson, who over the past year made the incubator his presidential initiative, working with the State Bar and other organizations to launch the program. “The court’s support affirms the commitment our State Bar and, more importantly, our TOJI participants have made to provide justice for Texas citizens and opportunity for Texas lawyers.”

TOJI is accepting applications through July 7 for the second cohort, which is expected to start on October 2. An information session will be held June 15 from 5:30 to 6:30 at the Texas Law Center, 1414 Colorado St., Austin, Texas 78701. Arrive at 4:30 for networking opportunities. For more information, go to

Above from left to right: Crystal Fletcher, Carolyn Cadena, Mary Rios, Sarah Kelly, Justice John Phillip Devine, Justice Don R. Willett, Justice Paul W. Green, 2016-2017 State Bar President Frank Stevenson, Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht, TOJI Director Anne-Marie Rábago, Justice Phil Johnson, Justice Eva Guzman, Justice Jeffrey S. Boyd, Justice Jeff Brown, Jackson Gorski, Mario Cantu, Kori Martin, Claire Vaho, and DeVondolyn Arrington.