The Austin Bar Foundation has been awarding grants to area legal-related programs since 2012. Approximately $20,000 is given annually, with almost $168,600 being awarded to date. Through the grant program, the foundation furthers its mission to improve public awareness of the legal system, the administration of justice, and the delivery of legal service.
Organizations interested in receiving funding through a grant must download and fill out the 2018 Austin Bar Foundation grant application. The deadline to apply is March 30, 2018.
2018 Grant Recipients
Advance Training for Immigration Lawyers: To further the professional development of American Gateways attorneys through training on advanced immigration issues. The funds will allow American Gateways to better serve the local Austin immigrant community with the complex immigration legal issues they face, which, in turn, will preserve the fabric of Austin’s neighborhoods and enrich the community through their diversity.
Austin Community Law Center
Family Security Legal Clinics: To increase the number and frequency of free legal clinics held in collaboration with social workers at Austin Independent School District (AISD) campuses located in the Eastern crescent of Austin. These clinics are held for the parents of school-aged children to improve the families’ security by helping them execute powers of attorney, advanced desgnations of guardianship, authorization for nonparent adult caregivers, and wills. The funding provided will allow them to hold more clinics, serve more families, and address an expanded set of needs important for financial security, such as enforcing child support orders and recovering apartment security deposits.
Austin Classical Guitar (ACG)
Guitar and Juvenile Justice Program: To support Austin Classical Guitar’s education services for young people involved in Travis County’s juvenile justice system. Since 2010, in partnership with AISD and the Travis County Juvenile Probation Department, ACG has offered daily, for-credit guitar classes for youth incarcerated at the Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center. Last year, with support from the Austin Bar Foundation, ACG launched a new in-school initiative for AISD students under court-supervised probation that allows them to fulfill certain requirements of their case plans by enrolling in their school’s guitar program. After a successful pilot in one school, they are set to expand the program to two other AISD schools in September 2018. By offering classical guitar education in a a structured, collaborative, pro-social learning environment, ACG’s goal is to help young people develop new skills, gain self-confidence, and experience the intrinsic joys of making music.
Texas Fair Defense Fund
Back on the Road-Increasing Economic Security by Reducing the Impact of Criminal Justice Debt: To hold a series of Driver’s License Recovery/Criminal Justice Debt Reduction clinics to help poor and low-income residents of Travis County escape the vicious cycle of criminal justice debt. The grant will allow the Texas Fair Defense Fund to hold four clinics and facilitate and expand the availability of legal services to a vulnerable population. Both Travis County’s justices of the peace and the Austin Municipal Court have expressed support for the project and a desire to collaborate on future clinics that resemble community courtrooms, thus improving the administration of justice and the Travis County court system.
Volunteer Legal Services (VLS) of Central Texas
Legal Advice Handbook for Pro Bono Attorneys: To update and modernize the VLS Legal Advice Clinic Handbook (“Handbook”). The Handbook is provided to all pro bono volunteers providing legal advice at VLS’s more than 200 legal advice clinics in Travis, Hays, and Bastrop counties. VLS volunteers rely on the Handbook as a valuable resource and support tool in providing pro bono legal advice to low-income Central Texans struggling to meet their basic need of employment, safety, housing, family/income stability, education, and healthcare.