G. Allan Van Fleet, who served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors from 2005 to 2008, will be awarded a 2020 Pro Bono Publico Award by the American Bar Association at its upcoming virtual ABA Annual Meeting.
The Pro Bono Publico Awards are the top honors given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. They honor individual lawyers, law firms, and corporate law departments for demonstrating outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.
Van Fleet is an antitrust, litigation, and legal ethics lawyer based in Houston and Galveston. His pro bono work dates to 1976 while he was a student at Columbia Law School.
The ABA’s announcement about Van Fleet reads: “His pro bono work has continued for nearly 45 years, and his colleagues in the Antitrust Law Section praise him for making extraordinary positive change for individual and institutional clients as well as whole communities. His legal work had been in indigent defendants’ rights, children’s rights, bail reform, immigrant rights, civil rights, and death penalty and wrongful conviction.”
Van Fleet’s nomination noted his work on the Texas Access to Justice Commission and the Texas Supreme Court Permanent Judicial Commission on Children, Families, and Youth. Van Fleet was also cited for participating in the SBOT-ABA Pro Bono Asylum Representation program, representing Central American refugees seeking political asylum. He is a director and former chair of Texas Appleseed, an Austin-based legal and social policy center.
Van Fleet also served on the Standing Committee on Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Responsibility from 2006 to 2015. According to his resume, he retired in July 2017 after 40 years of practice in BigLaw, including as a senior partner of Vinson & Elkins, Greenberg Traurig, and McDermott Will & Emery. He now handles pro bono cases and serves as an expert witness in antitrust, litigation, and legal ethics matters.
The other national individual winners are Leah Godesky, of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and Neil Steiner, of Dechert LLP, both from New York.