State Bar of Texas Seal

April 6, 2022
Contact: Trish McAllister
Texas Access to Justice Commission
(512) 427-1855


Champions of Justice Gala to Benefit Legal Aid for Texas Veterans
6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27

AUSTIN – In the span of more than 15 years, the Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans has raised more than $4.8 million for the provision of civil legal aid for low- income Texas veterans.

This annual event is sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Commission and the State Bar of Texas. Co-Chairs for the 2022 event are Jerry K. Clements of Locke Lord LLP in Austin; Monica Karuturi of CenterPoint Energy in Houston; David R. McAtee II with AT&T Inc. in Dallas; Ross R. Moody of National Western Life Group Inc. and The Moody Foundation in Austin; Stephen C. Mount of H-E-B in San Antonio; Sandra Phillips Rogers of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. | Toyota Legal One in Plano; D. Wayne Watts, Retired, formerly of AT&T Inc. in Boerne; Marie Yeates of Vinson & Elkins LLP in Houston; and Carlos M. Zaffirini, Jr. of Audrey & Carlos Zaffirini, Jr. Family Foundation in Austin. Harry M. Reasoner, of Vinson & Elkins LLP, serves as Gala Committee Chair and Chair Emeritus of the Texas Access to Justice Commission.

This year’s featured speaker is Lieutenant General (Ret.) Nadja West, 44th Army Surgeon General and former Commanding General of US Army Medical Command. Lt. General West oversaw the most comprehensive transformation in military medicine in more than three decades while ensuring medical force readiness and support of care remained paramount to more than 4 million people. She has 20 years of experience in executive leadership, crisis management, and disaster response. West was also the first female African American 3-star General in the Army’s history and is currently the highest-ranking woman to ever graduate from West Point.

The James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award recognizes a legal services program attorney or pro bono attorney who is an exemplary advocate and gives selflessly of their time and talent to provide legal help to low-income Texans. The James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award will be presented to Veronica Jacobs, formerly of Houston Volunteer Lawyers.

The Harry M. Reasoner Justice for All Award is named after Texas legal icon and Texas Access to Justice Commission Chair Emeritus, Harry Reasoner. This award recognizes an outstanding attorney who demonstrates dedication and commitment to providing pro bono legal services and promoting a culture of pro bono within the Bar. The Harry M. Reasoner Justice for All Award will be presented to Priya Aiyar who serves as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Legal Officer for American Airlines.

The Emily C. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award reflects the highest honor given by the Commission for a career dedicated to supporting legal aid for low-income Texans. This award, named after the first Executive Director of the Commission, recognizes an outstanding individual whose extraordinary spirit and demonstrated commitment to legal aid has improved our society and inspired others. The Emily C. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Bruce Bowers, who has worked over 33 years with Texas Legal Services Center.

Sponsorships and individual tickets are available for purchase at

What: Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans

When: Wednesday, April 27
6:00 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. Dinner

Where: AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center The University of Texas at Austin
1900 University Ave.
Austin, TX 78705


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

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