State Bar of Texas
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State Bar of Texas Honors Austin and Bastrop County Bar Associations For Wildfire Relief Efforts as Bar Board Meets in Bastrop
AUSTIN – State Bar of Texas President Bob Black of Beaumont presented resolutions honoring the pro bono legal assistance of the Austin Bar Association and the Bastrop County Bar Association in conjunction with a meeting of the State Bar’s Board of Directors Jan. 20 in Bastrop.
Under the leadership of Austin Bar Association President David Chamberlain, a Central Texas Wildfire Legal Response Team was formed within 24 hours and operating free legal advice clinics only 48 hours after the fires began to help people who had been evacuated from or lost their homes. The State Bar also acknowledged the efforts of Austin Bar Association members David Courreges, Karin Crump and Amy Welborn, who chaired the Legal Response Team.
Bastrop County Bar Association President David Collins also immediately rallied members to provide pro bono legal and other assistance to victims, many of whom were neighbors, colleagues and friends.
More than 100 Central Texas attorneys volunteered to ensure that 1,000 wildfire victims and their families received some form of legal assistance on matters such as insurance, landlord-tenant matters, mortgage questions and utility matters. With the participation of the Austin Bar Association, Austin Young Lawyers Association, Bastrop County Bar Association, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, legal advice clinics were open in all five operating shelters in Bastrop County three days after the fires began and remained open for two months, relocating once the shelters were closed.
The Austin Bar Association also conducted an attorney continuing legal education (CLE) training for clinic volunteers, edited and updated a Volunteer Attorney Disaster Training Manual, and held food and clothing drives for affected families.
The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas. The Bar 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.
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