Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) Launches “Partnering for Pro Bono”
AUSTIN – This month, to tie in with National Pro Bono Week (Oct. 24-30), TYLA is introducing “Partnering for Pro Bono” – a web-based program that partners in-house counsel with law firm lawyers in an effort to increase the provision of pro bono legal services in Texas. The program matches private-practice lawyers with in-house lawyers and offers pro bono cases available in various geographic areas. Cases include the areas of family law, probate, consumer, landlord-tenant, immigration, labor and employment, veterans, public benefits, and civil rights.
Less than 25 percent of civil legal needs of low-income Texans are being met. There is one Texas attorney for every 322 Texas citizens, but only one Texas legal aid attorney for every 10,838 Texans living below the poverty rate. More than 5 million Texans live below federal poverty guidelines, and many more poor Texans do not qualify for legal aid, but also can’t afford legal services.
“Clearly, we can do a better job helping our legal aid lawyers meet the growing legal needs of our fellow Texas citizens,” said TYLA President Jennifer Evans Morris.
“Partnering for Pro Bono” will also highlight legal clinics around the state, allowing lawyers to volunteer in groups as well as on individual cases. To sign up, go to www.tyla.org/partneringforprobono. TYLA is partnering with the State Bar’s Texas Lawyers Care Department, the Texas Legal Services Center, the Texas Access to Justice Commission and Foundation, the Corporate Counsel Section, and corporate counsel and law firm pro bono committees.
TYLA, widely recognized as the public service arm of the State Bar of Texas, develops programs designed to assist Texas attorneys in the practice of law and provides legal education to Texans as a public service. TYLA’s main purposes are to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All licensed Texas attorneys who are 36 years old or younger or who are in their first five years of licensure regardless of age, are automatically members of TYLA.