Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards

This committee reviews entries and selects the winners of the annual Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards. The awards recognize outstanding pro bono work performed during 2019 through any recognized legal services provider or through direct legal representation on behalf of any non-profit that serves the community. A committee of HBA members and members of the Harris County judiciary reviews nominations and selects the recipients in several categories.

Now accepting nominations for the 2020 awards! A committee of local attorneys and judges will select the award recipients, and the winners will be honored at a luncheon & ceremony this spring.

Awards are given in the following categories:

  • Large firm (100+)
  • Midsize firm (20-100)
  • Small firm (1-20)
  • Corporate legal department
  • Individual (whether practicing at a firm, corporation, or solo)

Attorneys and firms become eligible through a self-nominating process or someone may nominate a firm or individual. Attorneys/firms must submit a log of their pro bono service during the calendar year 2019 to the Houston Bar Association. Deadline has been extended to 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 17, 2020! Eligibility criteria include:

  • The attorney or firm attorneys must be licensed by and in good standing with the State Bar of Texas. The attorney must primarily practice in Harris County or surrounding counties.
  • The law firm submissions must be based on pro bono work performed through the office based in Harris County or surrounding counties.
  • The attorney must not be employed by an organization that has as its primary purpose the provision of legal services to low-income residents.
  • The attorney must have provided direct pro bono legal services without any compensation for fees, expenses or otherwise.
  • In reviewing award nominees, the judges will consider the number of clients directly receiving legal services, the complexity of the legal work provided, and the number of pro bono hours provided in the year specified on the nomination form. Please include information on all categories listed on the nomination form.
  • The pro bono work may be performed through any recognized legal services provider or it may be direct legal representation on behalf of any non-profit organization that provides services to the community. Please do not include work performed for a public entity, such as a government or municipal office.

Submission form must include:

  1. Cover letter;
  2. Summary of nominee's work for the year 2019, not to exceed two pages;
  3. The nomination form, including the number of pro bono hours the firm spent on the projects described in the summary, the number of attorneys in the firm performing pro bono work during the specified year, the number of attorneys in the organization, and a total number of pro bono hours. Click here to download the nomination form [Word document].

Submit the complete nomination packet no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 17 to HBA Associate Executive Director Tara Shockley via email (taras@hba.org) or mail (Houston Bar, ATTN: Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards, 1111 Bagby Street, FLB#200, Houston, Texas 77002).

Thank you for doing pro bono!


A row of guests and honorees at the Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards Ceremony
Congratulations to the 2019 Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards recipients: Exxon Mobil Corporation, Vinson & Elkins LLP; Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP, Powers Law Group, Jordan Turk of Koons Fuller, Ryan Van Steenis of Ajamie LLP; and the Hon. Jane Bland, who received the President’s Pro Bono Award. Keynote speaker was U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison, and awards were presented by HBA President Warren Harris and District Court Administrative Judge Robert Schaffer.

 

Click here for eligibility requirements.

For more information, contact Tara Shockley at taras@hba.org or (713) 759-1133.

 

 

 

 

2019-2020 Co-Chairs:

Benny Agosto, Jr., Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz
The Hon. Robert K. Schaffer, 152nd District Court

For more information on this committee, contact Tara Shockley at taras@hba.org or (713) 759-1133.