Celebrating Pro Bono Week

For the first time, the American Bar Association celebrated national Celebrate Pro Bono Week from October 25 to October 31 of this year. Because the work we do would not be possible without the countless volunteers who have come to our aid over the last forty years, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) was proud to host several events geared towards saying ‘thank you’ to our pro bono attorneys.

Volunteers in Hidalgo County helped Rio Grande Valley residents get divorced for free as part of Celebrate Pro Bono Week.

In Corpus Christi, Pro Bono Coordinator Sandra Garza approached the mayor’s office and had Mayor Joe Adame officially declare the week “Pro Bono Week.” Later that week, Garza helped coordinate a free training event for local pro bono volunteers that focused on issues including family law and home foreclosures. In the Rio Grande Valley, Community Justice Program coordinators Martha Hernandez and Mary Lou Vasquez held free legal clinics to help low-income clients in need of a divorce. The clinics profiled the volunteer efforts of private attorneys and local court officials.

“Without the pro bono work of hundreds of private attorneys there would be a lot of people in need of legal help but unable to afford it,” said TRLA Executive Director David Hall.

In addition to the events held during Celebrate Pro Bono Week, TRLA also coordinated several other celebrations to honor our volunteers. In late September TRLA’s family law team held a free legal training clinic for volunteers in Llano County. In early November, TRLA worked with the Webb County/Laredo Bar Association to hold the third bi-annual Social Justice Night Court Luncheon and Awards Ceremony. Between all of the celebrations, more than 100 pro bono attorneys were recognized for their work with TRLA.

Added Hall, “One third of the people that ask us for help have to be turned away because we don’t have enough resources. Pro bono volunteers are always needed and welcomed at TRLA.”

Attorneys interested in donating pro bono work to TRLA should contact their local branch office or visit http://www.trla.org for more information.

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