June 27, 2017
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706

 State Bar of Texas honors Smith County Bar at Annual Meeting

AUSTIN — The State Bar of Texas honored the Smith 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 Smith County Bar Association (SCBA) received an Award of Merit for various initiatives. The award was presented by the State Bar of Texas Local Bar Services Committee.

The SCBA takes pride in ensuring its members have access to resources that will make them effective legal professionals. In addition to offering new lawyers one year of free membership, the SCBA launched its Mentor Program, which matches established attorneys with lawyers who are newly licensed or new to the area, and plans to start a class on Smith County courts where new attorneys will be able to interact with judges.

The SCBA partners with the Smith County Bar Foundation to sponsor community service efforts in the area, including staffing volunteers to assist self-represented litigants, providing judges for regional mock trial competitions, and hosting an annual Law Day luncheon. At this year’s Law Day event, about 120 eighth-grade students spent an afternoon learning about the justice system on a tour of the federal courthouse in Tyler.

Since a significant population in Smith County needs legal assistance, the SCBA works tirelessly to advocate for access to justice—the Smith County Bar Foundation received the 2016 Deborah G. Hankinson Access to Justice Award for its sponsorship of a volunteer-attorney appreciation lunch during National Pro Bono Week in October. More than 100 bar association members have volunteered to assist pro bono clients, helping to close about 65 cases over the past year.

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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, or visit

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