HUNDREDS GATHER FOR ATJ GALA The Texas Access to Justice Commission’s 2015 Champions of Justice Gala raised over $401,600 to support civil legal services for low-income veterans. On April 7, more than 400 people gathered at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin to hear special guest Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and University of Texas System Chancellor William H. McRaven, who delivered the evening’s keynote address. At the event, which was co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas, former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson and Houston attorney James B. Sales, the commission’s chair emeritus, received Emily C. Jones Lifetime Achievement Awards. Peter Hofer, senior litigation attorney with Disability Rights Texas, received the James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award. Above: 2014-2015 State Bar President Trey Apffel (right) with his wife, Karen, and University of Texas System Chancellor William H. McRaven. New attorneys take oath The State Bar of Texas grew by 709 new lawyers on May 11, with many braving thunderstorms in Austin to attend an induction ceremony held by the Supreme Court of Texas. They were welcomed to the profession by 2014- 2015 State Bar President Trey Apffel, who stressed the importance of pro bono and treating colleagues with respect. Rebekah Steely Brooker, 2014- 2015 Texas Young Lawyers Association president, discussed the organization’s public service projects and encouraged the crowd to participate by visiting tyla.org. Matthew Prosen—a 2011 graduate of Stanford Law School, an associate with Baker Botts in Dallas, and the high scorer on the February 2015 Texas Bar Exam—spoke to his peers about consciously carving out one’s own professional path, being committed to clients and society, and balancing career with family and friends. HBA recognizes individuals and firms for pro bono service The Houston Bar Association and Harris County judiciary presented their annual Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards during a ceremony and luncheon on April 30. A committee of seven judges and six attorneys selected the recipients, which included Norton Rose Fulbright, Winston & Strawn, Patel Ervin Dinn, the Exxon Mobil Corporation Law Department, and Jack Carnegie of Strasburger & Price. John W. Raley of Raley & Bowick received the Bench Bar President’s Award. For more information, go to hba.org. TBLS accepting comments on proposed specialty area The Texas Board of Legal Specialization has been requested to recognize a new specialty area of construction law. A link to the proposal is available at texasbar.com or tbls.org/news. Comments should be sent by June 22 to email@example.com or 505 E. Huntland Dr., Ste. 400, LB 28, Austin 78752.
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