Lisa Blue Baron Honored with Access to Justice Award
Compassion. Webster’s Dictionary defines compassion as the “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program defines it with a list of pro bono lawyers and supporters who are compelled to use their legal skills and resources to help the less fortunate. At the top of that list is one of the champions of pro bono—Lisa Blue Baron.
For years, Ms. Blue Baron has translated her compassion for clients into support for the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, a joint pro bono program of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. Her efforts to make the lives of others more bearable include using her Spanish-speaking skills to interview clients at the West Dallas Legal Clinic, teach pro se divorce classes, and help Spanish-speaking clients finalize their family law cases. She also launched Baron & Budd’s pro bono program while she was at the firm. Ms. Blue Baron’s commitment to pro bono does not stop there. Her support includes significant financial assistance to the program’s fundraisers for nearly 20 years, including support of the annual Equal Access to Justice Campaign, Bench Bar Conference and Law Jam. If that weren’t enough, Ms. Blue Baron has hosted and underwritten Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas’ annual Women’s Advocacy Awards since 2008.
In recognition of her compassion and generosity, the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas honored Ms. Blue Baron with its first ever Access to Justice Award at the annual Pro Bono Awards Reception on October 26.
“Lisa’s contributions are far and wide,” said Dallas Bar Association President Barry Sorrels. “She has donated her time. She has encouraged others to do pro bono. She has trained legal aid staff so they can better represent their clients. And she has made significant financial contributions. She does it all, and she has done so for many, many years.”
The new Access to Justice Award will be given jointly by the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas from time to time to a deserving individual, group, or organization and will be named The Lisa Blue & Fred Baron Access to Justice Award in honor of our first recipient’s outstanding contributions to the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. The Lisa Blue & Fred Baron Access to Justice Award follows in the footsteps of the Hartman Judicial Pro Bono Service Award, named after the late Honorable Merrill Hartman, who was one of the founders of organized pro bono in Dallas, and the Lois Bacon Special Services Award, named in honor of the late Lois Bacon who, following retirement, volunteered full-time for the Dallas Volunteer Attorney for over 20 years.