Attorneys Honored with Pro Bono Award

Lauren Joyner (left) and Claire Antonelli (Right) at the 2015 Law Day Gala

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) attorneys Claire Antonelli and Lauren Joyner have been honored by the Hidalgo County Bar Association (HCBA) with the John E. Cook Pro Bono Award.

The award was presented Friday, May 15th at the HCBA Law Day Gala. The award is presented to a bar association member who has done exceptional pro bono work by providing free legal services to the poor.  Antonelli and Joyner were recognized for coordinating pro bono legal efforts to help with the influx of undocumented immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley in 2014. Continue reading

Easy-to-Understand Court Orders Improve Outcomes and Save Money

An evaluation of a test project in Texas and California has shown that plain language court forms can save money in court costs and increase protections for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking, particularly among low-income and Spanish-dominant individuals.

The evaluation, done by NPC Research, reviewed pilot projects in Travis County, Texas and Sonoma County, California and found that the use of easy-to-understand legal documents reduces the number of no-shows at important court hearings and contempt filings in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. In Texas, this resulted in an estimated savings of $4,600 per case and saved both court and county resources. Continue reading

Reed Honored with 2015 Public Interest Award

TRLA attorney Mary Christine Reed with the 2015 Public Interest Award

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) attorney Mary Christine Reed has been honored by the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association and the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation with the 2015 Public Interest Award.

The Public Interest Award is intended to honor an individual practicing law in Travis County who shows their merit in their work, their volunteer activities, and the atmosphere they create in the workplace. The award was presented on Friday, May 1st as part of the Annual Grants and Awards Luncheon held by the groups.

Reed is currently the director of TRLA’s Foster Youth Justice Project. She has been with TRLA for more than 20 years and was previously the director of TRLA’s Telephone Access to Justice (TAJ) program. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.

Fuchs Recognized with Noble Award

Fred Fuchs (left) accepts the Noble Award from fellow TRLA attorney Nelson Mock (right).

Last night the Poverty Law Section of the State Bar of Texas recognized Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) attorney Fred Fuchs with the Noble Award.

Fuchs is an attorney and the housing group coordinator with TRLA. He teaches a Housing Clinic through the University of Texas at Austin each spring and is a Vietnam-era veteran. Continue reading

Law School Students Spend Spring Break Working on Access to Justice

Four students from St. Mary’s School of Law join TRLA Family Law attorneys for lunch during spring break 2015.

Nine law school students from across the state of Texas spent their Spring Break working on access to justice issues at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)’s Austin office.

Rather than spend their time at the beach, students from St. Mary’s School of Law and Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University braved the traffic caused by SXSW and worked with family law attorneys and Texas C-Bar to help with clients’ cases and local legal clinics.

Students from St. Mary’s School of Law were sponsored by the school’s Alternative Spring Break Program. Students from Thurgood Marshall School of Law were sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Commission.

Our Spring Break law school interns had a great time with our Austin office.