Texas Access to Justice Commission
July 28, 2009

Contact: Kimberly Schmitt 512-320-0099, ext. 104 or kschmitt@teajf.org

Bar Associations Honored with Deborah G. Hankinson Access to Justice Awards - Over $550,000 raised through State Bar dues for the Access to Justice Campaign

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Access to Justice Commission celebrated the seventh annual Deborah G. Hankinson Access to Justice Awards at the Bar Leaders Conference held recently in Houston. These awards honor the local bar associations and Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) affiliates whose attorneys contributed at the highest rates through annual State Bar dues to the Access to Justice (ATJ) Campaign.

Named for former Supreme Court of Texas Justice Deborah G. Hankinson, a magnificent advocate of access to justice, the awards are meant to encourage competition between local bar associations and TYLA affiliates in the ATJ Campaign.

Texas Access to Justice Commissioner Marc Vockell presented the 2009 awards to:

Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association – Small City TYLA affiliate
Austin Young Lawyers Association – Large City TYLA affiliate
Highland Lakes Bar Association – Small City Bar Association
Austin Bar Association – Large City Bar Association

Each year, Texas attorneys choose to contribute to the Access to Justice (ATJ) Campaign through their annual State Bar dues statements. In 2009, Texas attorneys have raised over half a million dollars for the campaign. All funds generated by the campaign are earmarked for civil legal aid. The donations of Texas lawyers play a vital role in the effort to meet the critical legal needs of poor and low-income Texans in civil matters.

The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created in 2001 by the Supreme Court of Texas to develop and implement policy initiatives designed to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. The Commission has created several initiatives to increase resources and awareness of legal aid. For more information, please visit www.TexasATJ.org.