FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2017
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706
astarnes@texasbar.com

 State Bar of Texas honors Jefferson County Bar at Annual Meeting

AUSTIN — The State Bar of Texas honored the Jefferson County Bar Association as it gave awards for exceptional service to the public and the legal profession during its Annual Meeting held June 22 and 23 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

The Jefferson County Bar Association (JCBA) received an Award of Merit for various initiatives and an Outstanding Partnership Award for its 2016 Southeast Texas Youth Career Expo. The State Bar of Texas Local Bar Services Committee presented both honors.

Award of Merit:
Through its partnership with a 17-county veterans coalition, JCBA assisted service members and their families in Jefferson, Chambers, Hardin, Liberty, and Orange counties with legal advice, counsel, and when needed, pro bono representation. Thirty-six volunteer attorneys advised 95 veterans, through seven legal clinics and events. The 2016 calendar year saw 110 volunteer attorneys—20 percent of JCBA membership—donate 1,215 pro bono hours. The JCBA produced and sponsored, along with others, Jefferson County Adoption Day, an effort that resulted in 11 volunteer attorneys representing 10 families and providing legal services for 17 adoptions. The Lawyer Referral Service, which has 33 participating attorneys, took more than 80 calls per week, averaging 4,000 calls per year.

Additional JCBA initiatives throughout the year included a partnership with the city of Beaumont Municipal Court that provided 35 first-time misdemeanor juvenile offenders with the opportunity to make restitution for the offense through community service, Teen Court participation, and other punishments ordered by the teen jury; scholarships for students through mock trial competitions; and the seventh annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for nutrition and services for senior citizens, among other programs and services.

Outstanding Partnership Award:
With significant interest in the legal field from area students, the Texas Workforce Commission invited the JCBA to participate in the Youth Solutions Southeast Texas Youth Career Expo 2016 in Beaumont. The JCBA and Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association brought more than 20 attorneys and five area judges to the event, which attracted more than 3,500 students from 23 local school districts. JCBA leaders were able to connect with educators to get civics education programs into more schools.

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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. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/statebaroftexas, or visit texasbar.com.

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