The Harris County judiciary, in conjunction with the Houston Bar Association, presented the fifth annual Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards to law firms, corporate legal departments and an individual in a ceremony on May 1 at the Harris County Civil Courthouse.
The awards program was established to recognize outstanding pro bono service through local legal service providers and to encourage the provision of direct legal services to low-income Harris County residents. A committee of seven judges and six attorneys selected the recipients.
Harris County Administrative Judge Ken Wise of the 334th District Court and Houston Bar Association President Brent Benoit presented the following awards for outstanding service: Large Firm – Vinson & Elkins LLP; Mid-size Firm – Seyfarth Shaw LLP; Corporation – Marathon Oil Company; Individual – Chastiti N. Horne of Ebanks Horne Rota Moos, LLP; Bench Bar President’s Award – Exxon Mobil Corporation.
This is the inaugural year for the President’s Award, established to recognize a firm or corporation with a long history of excellence in pro bono service. Exxon Mobil’s law department received the Bench Bar Pro Bono Award two previous years and has made pro bono service part of its corporate culture for both attorneys and non-attorneys.
Each year the award winners names are featured on permanent plaques in the lobbies of the Civil Courthouse, Criminal Justice Center, Family Law Center and Juvenile Justice Center in downtown Houston.