Honoring the Profession
At the Dallas Bar Association, our members volunteer throughout the community in many different ways. For example, we volunteer as mentors for younger lawyers, we volunteer for Dallas Independent School District as mock trial judges, and we volunteer to build a home for Habitat for Humanity. Perhaps most importantly, we volunteer as lawyers by providing free legal services to indigent members of our community.
Campaign for Equal Access to Justice/Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program
Finding a way to provide meaningful and manageable pro bono services on your own within your practice can be difficult. The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program makes it easier. Because we have participation from so many members, we have specialized clinics offering legal services in different areas of law, including family law, wills and probate, landlord-tenant issues. We also have specialized clinics for different groups of people like veterans and men and women who are currently serving in our armed forces. When you come to volunteer, you can find a place to help in an area of law you are comfortable with. You can also define the amount of time you wish to devote to pro bono work. We are looking for attorneys who can volunteer for a task as simple as writing one letter to a job as complex as full representation of a client.
If you are interested in donating your time and providing legal services to the needy, you should contact Alicia Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program is comprised of many lawyers who regularly devote their time to providing free legal services to our community. Although these volunteer lawyers do not get paid for their work, there are other expenses associated with operating the clinics. Those expenses are paid by the Campaign for Equal Access to Justice, and they allow the volunteer attorneys to provide legal services worth substantially more to the community than what is raised in the Campaign. For example, if the Campaign for Equal Access to Justice raises around $500,000, then that amount will translate to close to $4 million in legal services performed by our volunteer attorneys.
If you are interested in donating money to the Campaign for Equal Access to Justice, please visit www.dvapcampaign.org.
These programs work hand-in-hand, and it is my hope that each of you will make an effort to contribute to one or the other. We must have lawyers willing to contribute their time to the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, as well as lawyers willing to contribute their money to the Equal Access to Justice Campaign for these programs to continue their success. Many of you have donated your time and money generously, and I am grateful for your generosity. To those of you who have not, I hope that you will join us in these efforts to improve the quality of life of our community by sharing competent legal representation.
I would like to thank Brad Weber, of Locke Lord LLP, and Rob Crain, of Crain Lewis, LLP, who are co-chairs of the Campaign for Equal Access to Justice for their efforts to raise the funds that support the collective and noble effort of our members to provide legal services to the poor and disenfranchised of our community. I must also recognize Alicia Hernandez, the director of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program. Her expertise allows us to maximize every dollar we get from the Campaign. Thank you, Alicia.
New Member Reception
On November 15, 2011, at 5:30 p.m., the Dallas Bar Association will host our newest members and newly licensed attorneys. This is a great opportunity to mix and mingle at the Dallas Bar Association, meet a variety of our members, and learn about some of our programs and initiatives. We want to extend a hearty welcome from the Dallas legal community to our newly licensed attorneys. In addition, this year we have extended a special invitation to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office to join us at the reception and encourage their participation in activities at the Belo. This event is always a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing you there.
We will host our annual meeting on November 4, 2011. This year, it will be a privilege to watch Tim Mountz, of Baker Botts L.L.P., receive the Morris Harrell Professionalism Award. Throughout his entire career in the practice of law, and his year as president of the Dallas Bar Association, Tim has been a model of professionalism and is incredibly deserving of this distinction. I encourage you to join us for this special ceremony.
The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and Campaign for Equal Access to Justice are successful because of you. Keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing what you are going to do in the future.