TEXAS OBSERVES PRO BONO WEEK The State Bar of Texas, local bar associations, legal aid organizations, and attorneys across the state took part in Celebrate Pro Bono Week festivities during October 23-29 and all month long. The Tarrant County Bar Foundation’s Advocates for Justice Luncheon on October 13 in Fort Worth benefited the foundation’s pro bono and community service programs and noted the work of LegalLine, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans—Tarrant County Chapter, and Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services. The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program recognized lawyers, staff volunteers, and law firms for performing more than 36,000 hours of pro bono work collectively over the past year at its 34th Annual Pro Bono Awards Reception. The Texas Access to Justice Commission and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation each presented awards for outstanding pro bono efforts, including one to the State Bar of Texas Construction Law Section. LUNCHEON CELEBRATES PARALEGAL DAY State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division, District 3 celebrated Paralegal Day with a luncheon October 12, which honored the profession and the 35th anniversary of the division’s establishment in 1981, when the State Bar became the first bar association to create a separate division for paralegals. Tarrant County Bar Association President-elect Nick Bettinger read aloud a proclamation for the occasion and State Bar President-elect Tom Vick also attended the event. Barbara Kirby, assistant professor and director of paralegal studies at Texas Wesleyan University, presented a CLE, “Walking the Legal Tightrope: The future of the legal profession.” STATE BAR OF TEXAS, AUSTIN BAR WIN LUMINARY AWARDS The State Bar of Texas and the Austin Bar Association won Luminary Awards for Excellence in Electronic Media at the National Association of Bar Executives Communications Section Workshop, held in Savannah, Georgia, October 19-21. The State Bar received its award for the Texas Bar Blog, which was redesigned in July 2015. Judges called it a “stellar blog site and well-integrated into the overall website look and feel.” The Austin Bar was honored for its recently redesigned e-newsletter, Bar Code, which judges described as “sharp, captivating, and modern.” Austin celebrates Adoption Day Newly adopted children and their families celebrated at the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center on November 3 as a part of Austin’s 15th Adoption Day, which is a partnership among the Austin Bar Association, Austin Bar Foundation, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Court Appointed Special Advocates with help from the Travis County Juvenile Probation Department, Partnerships for Children, the Travis County Office of Child Representation, and the Travis County Children’s Protective Services Board. Travis County judges finalized the adoptions of 53 children to 31 families at this year’s event, and the kids received hundreds of donations—from teddy bears to new books. “The real stars of Adoption Day are the families,” attorney Denise Hyde, chair of the Austin Bar’s Adoption Day Committee, said in a news release. “They have opened their hearts and their homes to create new families.” HBA drive collects more than 27,000 books The Houston Bar Association Lawyers for Literacy Committee brought in 27,480 books during its annual fall book drive in September and October. Over 50 volunteers sorted and boxed the donated books, which were distributed to 34 community shelters, hospitals, missions, veterans’ residential facilities, agencies, and literacy programs throughout the Houston area.
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