Texas Access to Justice Commission

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The Texas Access to Justice Commission held its Legislative Day in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Included in this day was a press conference regarding the Texas legal aid funding crisis and potential legislative solutions. Held in the Speakers Committee Room, Justice Nathan Hecht, Chairman Harry Reasoner, and Chairman Emeritus Jim Sales set out the economic catastrophe facing Legal Aid providers in Texas, and laid out some proposed solutions.

As the population of Texas has grown over the last several years, and as the economic downturn has continued for a significant period of time, there are more and more Texas residents who are in need of legal services, but cannot afford them. And poor Texans are disproportionately affected by the recession. It is estimated that there are approximately 5.7 million people who qualify for legal aid in Texas. Yet only 20% of the civil legal needs of low income and poor Texans are being met.

During this time of crisis, the state of Texas also faces its own economic conundrum. As a result, the initial budgets released by both houses and the governor's office cut the legal aid funding support by over 51%. The purpose of the Legislative Day for this group was to bring attention to the impending disaster. As requested by the legislature in the last session, the Texas Access to Justice Commission and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation have devised four separate funding opportunities to help sustain the cause. For more information on Texas Access to Justice Commission, or to learn more about the four separate funding opportunities, please contact me at the Abraham, Watkins law firm.

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  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

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    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

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    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

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    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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