The American Bar Association, or ABA, will honor Texas lawyers Maddy Dwertman and Mark Melton with the Pro Bono Publico Award for demonstrating outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for low-income and disadvantaged persons on August 5 during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

This award is the highest honor given by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. It spotlights pro bono efforts of individual lawyers, small and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments, and other institutions in the legal profession.

Dwertman is a senior associate of Baker Botts in Austin. Since 2018, she has provided volunteer pro bono services for American Gateways, a Central Texas nonprofit whose mission is to champion the dignity and human rights of immigrants, refugees, and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict, and human trafficking. In the past two and a half years, Dwertman has donated more than 865 pro bono hours, with 320 of them during the pandemic year of 2021.

Melton, a partner in Holland & Knight in Dallas, recruited more than 250 Dallas lawyers to help tenants navigate the complex legal process of eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Melton’s leadership, and after more than 2,500 hours of his own pro bono work, the ad hoc pro bono project has grown into a nonprofit called the Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center. The nonprofit employs a team of full-time lawyers and staff and has helped more than 6,000 tenants in Dallas in the past two years at no charge.

For more information on the ABA and its Pro Bono Publico Award, go to