MEXICAN-AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS FOUNDATION HOLDS SCHOLARSHIP LUNCHEON The Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation held its 12th annual scholarship luncheon on August 24 in Houston, raising funds for scholarships awarded to Houston-based law student s who demonstrate leadership, commitment, justice, and equality throughout the Hispanic community and beyond. Former Houston Oiler and entrepreneur Dan Pastorini gave the key note speech at the e vent, which also re cognize d professionals in and outside of law practice, including Lisa Hernandez of KHOU-TV (Outstanding Service in the Media), Judge Esmeralda Peña Garcia (Lifetime Award), Irma Gonzalez Galvan of Irma’s Downtown (Outstanding Service as an Entrepreneur), Judge Michael Gomez of the 129th Civil Court (Outstanding Service in the Judiciary), and Chief Art Acevedo of the Houston Police Department (Outstanding Ser vice as a Public Servant). The foundation, founded in 2006 by Houston attorney Benny Agosto Jr., was create d to encourage justice and leadership within the Hispanic community and has raised more than $250,000 since its inception. “It is import ant t hat we encourage a new generation o f lawyers to not only be great lawyers but to also give back to the legal community,” Agosto said in a press release. DIVERSITY INCREASES AT AUSTIN LAW FIRMS An uptick in the total number of minority lawyers employed by Austin’s largest firms was reported in the Law Firm Diversity Report Card, which grades the city’s law firms on their hiring, promotion, and retention of attorneys of diverse races, genders, and sexual orientations. Thirteen law firms earned A’s in diversity: Andrews Kurth Kenyon; Baker Botts; Duggins Wren Mann & Romero; the Fowler Law Firm; Gardere Wynne Sewell; Greenberg Traurig; Husch Blackwell; Jackson Walker; Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend; Richards Rodriguez & Skeith; Scott Douglass & McConnico; Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons; and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Additional findings in the report, which was announced at an event in downtown Austin on August 10, include data showing an increase in the number of firms reporting having openly LGBT attorneys. State Bar of Texas search committee recommends Trey Apffel for executive director The State Bar of Texas Executive Director Search Committee nominated E.A. “Trey” Apffel III as its recommendation for executive director out of seven finalists. The board of directors was expected to consider the recommendation on September 22 in Lubbock. For updated information, go to texasbar.com. Retired Judge L. Clifford Davis honored The L. Clifford Davis Legal Association honored its namesake, retired Judge L. Clifford Davis, at its 37th Annual Scholarship and Recognition Banquet in August. State Bar of Texas President Tom Vick presented Davis with a letter acknowledging his many accomplishments as a legal trailblazer. As a young practitioner, Davis worked with the NAACP and Thurgood Marshall on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Later lawsuits he filed led to the desegregation of the Mansfield Independent School District and the Fort Worth ISD. In 1983, Davis became the first appointed African-American judge to preside over a district court in Tarrant County. Fairy Davenport Rutland Award presented The Child Abuse and Neglect Committee presented Barbara Elias-Perciful with the Fairy Davenport Rutland Award at the annual Advanced Family Law Course on August 9. Elias-Perciful, the founder of nonprofit Texas Loves Children, was recognized for her distinguished service in advocacy for abused and neglected children. Legal Mapmaker ™ seminar boosts legal entrepreneurs Legal Mapmaker™ held a three-day seminar in mid-August in Fort Worth in conjunction with sponsor Baylor Law School, the State Bar of Texas, and other law schools. Each year, the seminars are designed to equip new attorneys with the tools to start their own practices that provide legal services to the public efficiently and affordably. This year’s event featured one-on-one sessions with experts and live presentations on topics including cyber-security, financial management, and avoiding malpractice.
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