Monday, October 17, 2005

Banding together is a good idea.

The State Bar of Texas may be onto something here:

Lawyers who specialize in the area of poverty law don't make big bucks, but it is a growing business. The State Bar of Texas, recognizing the growth, has created a Poverty Law Section to bring together these lawyers. That means lawyers who provide legal representation to the poor will have a network of associates across the state with whom to discuss ways to help their clients with their unique issues. It also creates a means of providing continuing legal education that focuses on poverty law. Individual lawyers provide thousands of hours in pro bono work every year. Across the state, legal aid organizations assist more than 99,000 low-income Texans annually with civil issues. Yet access to free legal assistance for the economically disadvantaged remains a problem for many. It is estimated that three out of four people who need legal assistance and qualify for free legal help do not get it because there are too few lawyers to provide the services. The Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, formed by the Texas Supreme Court in 2001, is progressing in the effort to make more legal aid available by channeling funding from various sources to nonprofit organizations that provide legal aid. A network within the state bar for lawyers who work in the area of poverty law will help focus attention on the needs in this area of the law. Hopefully, it will also prompt more donors to open their pocketbooks to help fund legal aid organizations and encourage more pro bono work from corporate lawyers.

From the San Antonio Express-News


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