Winners of this year’s Pro Bono Excellence Awards were honored at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Fort Worth on June 10. State Bar President Roland Johnson commended the six recipients for improving access to justice in Texas.
Maria “Lulu” Villanueva of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in San Antonio received the inaugural Pro Bono Coordinator Award, which recognizes an individual who has served as a pro bono coordinator. Villanueva has served as the Community Justice Program clinic coordinator in Bexar County for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) since 2003. The program hosts regular evening clinics that provide complete legal services, including attorneys, district clerks, notaries, interpreters, and judges – all working on a volunteer basis. Villanueva coordinates the client side of the program, creating the client files, coordinating client attendance, and preparing preliminary pleadings for the attorneys. Her efforts and dedication to the Community Justice Program are a critical support for the clinic’s success.
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