TexasBar.com

State Bar of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2010

Contact:  Kim Davey, kdavey@texasbar.com, 800.204.2222 x 1713 or 512.427.1713

State Bar of Texas Launches “Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans” to Provide Pro Bono Legal Clinics to Military Veterans

AUSTIN – Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans is a new State Bar of Texas program to develop and assist pro bono legal clinics throughout the state for military veterans who otherwise cannot afford or do not have access to the legal services they need.

The program is a major initiative of State Bar of Texas President Terry Tottenham.

“Our military servicemen and women have made great sacrifices in duty to their country,” said Tottenham, a former Marine. “As lawyers, we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of a great many veterans – and in the families of those who did not return.”

The mission is to ensure that organized pro bono legal clinics exist to specifically assist veterans who otherwise could not afford counsel, working through local bar associations and veterans service providers. Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans is building on the important work begun by the Houston Bar Association, which offers legal clinics at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital in Houston.

The program officially launches July 23 at the State Bar’s annual Bar Leaders Conference at the Westin Galleria in Houston, which will be attended by several hundred bar leaders from across the state. There has been tremendous support already from attorneys who have volunteered to participate, and several local bar associations are forging ahead with veterans clinics, including Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio and Tarrant County.

Civil practice areas covered in veterans legal clinics include but are not necessarily limited to Bankruptcy, Child Support, Consumer/Contracts, Divorce or Custody/Guardianship/Probate, Landlord/Tenant, Wills/Estate Planning, Employment, Housing, and Tax. In addition, lawyers who are accredited with the VA can assist veterans with VA benefits claims and appeals. For more information, visit www.texasbar.com/veterans.

The project is made possible through a generous grant by the Texas Bar Foundation. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably funded bar foundation.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.