The Harris County judiciary and Houston Bar Association presented the 2018 Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards at the 14th Court of Appeals on April 30. The awards honor law firms, attorneys, and legal departments that encourage legal services to low-income residents and provide outstanding pro bono service through local legal services providers.

Richard Mithoff, who established the Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services, was the keynote speaker. The endowment, named after Mithoff’s late mentor, aims to provide Texas veterans with access to free legal help to integrate into civilian life. Mithoff also has contributed to the endowment of the University of Texas School of Law’s pro bono program to match law students with pro bono services that fit their professional and personal goals.

Hon. Robert Schaffer, the administrative judge of the Harris County District Courts, and HBA President Alistair Dawson presented the following awards:

  • Large Firm—Baker Botts;
  • Mid-size Firm—Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld;
  • Small Firm—Berg & Androphy;
  • Corporation—Exxon Mobil Corporation Law Department;
  • Individual—Mike Day, of the Trey Yates Law Firm; and
  • President’s Pro Bono Star—solo practitioner Steven C. Howard.