State Bar of Texas
June 8, 2010

Contact: Kim Davey,, 800.204.2222 x 1713 or 512.427.1713

San Antonio Individuals Honored by State Bar of Texas

FORT WORTH – Presentation of awards honoring exceptional service to the public and the legal profession will be a highlight of the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, to be held June 10-11 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

The following San Antonio area individuals are among those being honored:

Maria "Lulu" Villanueva of Texas RioGrandeLegal Aid. The Pro Bono Coordinator Award, presented by the State Bar Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee, is presented to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the delivery of, and access to legal services for the poor, while serving as the pro bono coordinator for a volunteer organization. Maria "Lulu" Villanueva serves as a clinic coordinator with the Community Justice Program at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. Pro bono lawyers in Bexar County have assisted 3,000 clients since the program's inception in 2003. The success of the Community Justice Program - a collaborative effort of the San Antonio Bar Association, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and other groups - has inspired the development of similar programs across Texas, including in Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. The program brings the courthouse to the community, providing evening clinics to assist those most in need of pro bono legal services. The program's success has resulted in successful funding efforts that have provided financial support from private foundations and other sources.

David M. Evans, Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas Award, presented by the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA). As a director and later president of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association (SAYLA), Evans was instrumental in increasing membership and participation, and created the SAYLA website. He has served as a mock trial coach for various high schools with students from low-income families in San Antonio, and was instrumental in producing an instructional video for mock trial participants. Evans assists with the "Amigos in Mediation" Peer Mediation Program, which inspires young people to develop the skills necessary to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner, and is spearheading the implementation of the Giving Americans Motivational Education for the Real World ("GAMER") Program to assist public schools in preparing students to succeed in life. He serves as a member of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, the William S. Sessions Inns of Court, and provides pro bono legal services to family law clients through the Community Justice Program.

Alyssa J. Long, Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) President's Award of Merit. As a co-chair of the Cyber Crimes Committee, Long helped produce the award-winning project, "R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace." She served as a co-chair of the Local Affiliates Committee, assisted with the Bar Leaders Conference, and as a member of the Low Income Texans Committee, she revised and edited several chapters of the Legal Handbook of the State Counsel for Offenders, a joint project with the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Elizabeth Copeland, Outstanding Texas Tax Lawyer, presented by the Tax Section.

A. Michael Ferrill, Distinguished Counselor Award, presented by the Antitrust & Business Litigation Section.

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, Reynaldo G. Garza Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Hispanic Issues Section.

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.