November 28, 2018

Texas Access to Justice Foundation Luncheon with Supreme Court Kicks Off Pro Bono Week

The Texas Access to Justice Commission and Texas Access to Justice Foundation honored Texas Representative Oscar Longoria as a Texas Access to Justice Legislative Hero for his contributions during the last session of the Texas Legislature. The recognition came at the annual Supreme Court luncheon held at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center on October 18, 2018.

Chief of Staff Lee Loya accepting award from Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman on behalf of Rep. Oscar Longoria.

“As an attorney, Rep. Longoria understands that legal aid is essential for the economically disadvantaged and that having a lawyer can make all the difference in a time of need,” Justice Guzman said. “We’re truly thankful for all the hard work he has put into championing legal aid for all Texans.”

The Texas Access to Justice Commission and Foundation launched the Legislative Hero Award program in 2010 to recognize legislators who have significantly advanced access to justice in the state, either by assisting with the appropriation of funds and/or other substantive activities related to providing legal aid.

“I believe in making a strong impact on underprivileged Texans who need legal services,” Rep. Longoria said. “I hope to continue to create viable solutions and foster legislation that will positively affect not only the Rio Grande Valley, but all our Texas families and communities.”

Also honored at the luncheon were Kay Sim, executive director of the Houston Bar Association, who was presented with a Service Recognition Award for her tireless advocacy on behalf of low-income veterans through her work with the Veterans Legal Initiative. The award was presented by Terry Tottenham, secretary of TAJF. Sims will be retiring in March 2019, after 44 years at the Houston Bar Association,
38 of which she served as executive director.

Randy Chapman, former executive director of Texas Legal Services Center, was also presented with a special recognition by Texas Senator Judith Zaffirini.

Legal aid organizations funded by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation help more than 150,000 low-income Texas families each year; however, only about 10 percent of the civil legal needs of low-income and poor Texans are met due to a lack of resources.