Programs Supported by the Austin Bar Foundation
(click titles for more information on each program)
The Adoption Day projects bring together attorneys, CASAs, case workers, judges, and many others in the community to celebrate the creation of new families. The children involved have all been placed in foster care due to abuse and neglect. Through the help of the Austin Bar Foundation, these children are now in safe and stable homes. Austin Adoption Day will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2016. Since its inception, it has hosted the adoptions of more than 500 children. Due to the success of the program, Central Texas Adoption Day was established four years ago to cast an even wider net of hope for families. More than 100 children have been adopted at the Central Texas events. CLICK HERE for more information.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, the Austin Bar Association not only provides a monthly Free Legal Advice Clinics for Veterans, it also provides free legal advice over the phone to eligible veterans, and assists with minor legal issues for veterans in Travis and surrounding counties. Applicants must complete an intake to see if they qualify for these services. If you are a veteran seeking help, click here for more information.
Attorneys, paralegals, and law students are encouraged to volunteer. CLICK HERE for more information on the Veterans Assistance Programs and how to get involved.
This program is funded by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and the Austin Bar Foundation.
Many self-represented litigants can’t afford the services of an attorney but also can’t qualify for free legal aid. These are the working poor of Travis County. All self-represented litigants are required to go to the Travis County Self Help Center before they are allowed in court. Due to this mandate, the Self Help Center has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking help. In response to this overwhelming need, the Austin Bar Foundation created this program to provide assistance for self-represented litigants in the uncontested civil docket. Volunteer attorneys are available in the Self Help Center to answer questions and help fill out forms. They also assist with divorces, obtaining occupational driver’s licenses, name changes and landlord/tenant issues. Additionally, a volunteer attorney staffs the uncontested docket courtroom to help the litigants through the courtroom process. CLICK HERE to learn more about the program and to volunteer.
Created in 2017, the newest program of the Austin Bar Foundation serves the cancer community by providing free estate planning services to cancer patients and survivors. Attorney and paralegal volunteers staff the clinic and assist clients who have been diagnosed with a wide range of cancers in various stages with a variety of estate planning needs.
The Austin Bar Foundation, in conjunction with the Austin LGBT Bar Association, offers a scholarship for LGBT law students and ally students of LGBT causes. The purpose of the scholarship is to defray the cost of tuition for qualifying Texas law students. Applicants must be enrolled at a law school in Texas and must have demonstrated some commitment or contribution to the LGBT community or LGBT legal issues. CLICK HERE for more information and to download the application.
Established at the 2012 Foundation Gala, the Denise Hyde Scholarship Fund, named after long-time Adoption Day chair, Denise Hyde, was created to help with school and living expenses for older children being adopted or aging out of the foster care system. CLICK HERE for more information.
The Justice Mack Kidd Fund provides financial assistance for counseling and medical treatment on a short-term basis for Austin attorneys suffering from depression or a related illness. Since its inception, the fund has helped more than 16 attorneys. Your donations truly make a difference in the lives of those facing crises. CLICK HERE for more information.
Now in its seventh year, the Diversity Fellowship Program enables first and second-year law students of diverse backgrounds to participate in law firm, governmental agency, and judicial clerkships. The Foundation provides a stipend to the students, which is funded by charitable donations from participating firms. CLICK HERE for more information.
The Austin Bar Foundation has been awarding grants since 2012. 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. CLICK HERE for more information.
Grant recipients in 2017:
- Austin Tenants Council
- American Gateways
- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Travis County
- Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA)
- Volunteer Legal Services
- Classical Guitar Engagement for Court-Involved Youth
- Emergency Grant to Equal Justice Center
Grants Awarded in 2017: Over $29,000
Grants Awarded to Date: $132,098