Nineteen Houston law firms and companies will join the Houston Bar Association’s Project TRAIN (Training, Readiness, and Inclusion Network) in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, pledging their support to employ people with special needs.

Project TRAIN, created by HBA President Alistair Dawson, assists firms and companies in hiring and retaining employees with special needs or cognitive disorders. Its members—attorneys and representatives of disability rights groups—will develop training programs and materials (available in early spring 2018) that address legal issues regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and employment law, and advise employers on unique situations of hiring special needs individuals.

“Hopefully, these employers will be better prepared to welcome an increased number of differently-abled individuals in their work force,” Dawson said in a press release.

Project TRAIN will work with charitable organizations to help recruited employers interview potential hires. Those organizations include The Center, Social Motion Skills, H.E.A.R.T., Jewish Family Service, and Disability Rights Texas.

The network’s newest employers:

  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  • Andrews Kurth Kenyon
  • Apache Corp.
  • Baker Botts
  • Bracewell
  • Beck Redden
  • Constable Alan Rosen
  • Gardere Wynne Sewell
  • Haynes & Boone
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Jackson Walker
  • Littler Mendelson
  • Locke Lord
  • Morgan Lewis & Bockius
  • Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Porter Hedges
  • Reed Smith
  • Thompson Knight
  • Vinson Elkins

Additionally, Project TRAIN will provide pro bono legal services to ensure children and teens receive the services they are entitled to in high school and help them and their parents with decision-making arrangements or guardianships once they turn 18.

For more information, contact Alistair Dawson at or at (713) 951-6225.