This edition of P.S. highlights three upcoming fundraising events — one that supports advancing debate in urban public schools, one that supports Houston area domestic violence survivors, and one that funds scholarships and internships for Hispanic law students.
Plus: an upcoming virtual summit that will discuss tips and best pro bono practices for in-house legal departments and a special thank you to a major donor of the Texas Lawbook Foundation, which funds this column and the rest of our coverage on pro bono, public service and diversity news in the Texas legal community.
For your public service news to be considered for inclusion in P.S., email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Latest Charitable Happenings
— On March 30, K&L Gates partner Craig Budner will be honored by the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues at its 2023 Annual Dinner. The annual dinner, which will be at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, is the organization’s largest fundraising event. It will showcase the work of NAUDL and its 22 debate league partners. Budner founded NAUDL’s Dallas chapter, the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance, in 2007.
The event will feature a networking cocktail reception, formal dinner and a paddle raise donation auction.
To purchase tickets or sponsor, visit here: https://urbandebate.org/donate-3/
— Next Tuesday, Akin Gump (which now goes by Akin) is hosting a one-hour virtual pro bono summit on Zoom at 2:30 CT. The virtual crowd will hear from a panel of in-house lawyers who are seasoned pro bono practitioners and leaders in their companies’ legal departments. The panel, which will be moderated by Akin pro bono partner Steve Schulman, includes two firm clients — Taco Bell senior legal director (and former Akin counsel) Sarah Crow and Morgan Stanley executive director/pro bono lead counsel Erin Law — as well as Entergy pro bono counsel Christy Kane. The discussion will also cover how Akin can help in-house clients build pro bono policies and programs in their legal departments.
To register, email email@example.com
— On April 5, the Houston Area Women’s Center is hosting its annual BELIEVE Luncheon to raise money for its mission to support survivors of domestic violence — and its recent commitment to serve more survivors as domestic violence continues to multiply in the Houston community. The BELIEVE luncheon seeks to raise $500,000, which will help support its plans to construct a new emergency supportive housing building that would triple its existing residential capacity. HAWC expects to break ground on its new facility this year.
This year’s planning community includes Haynes and Boone partner Lauren Brogdon, a longtime volunteer of pro bono services for HAWC clients and a childhood survivor of domestic abuse herself (more on Brogdon’s story in an upcoming piece). The luncheon co-chairs are Shaz and Carly Butte of Highlands Construction. On HAWC’s board are multiple lawyers, including Haynes and Boone partner Ann Al-Bahish, Houston Bar Association executive director Mindy Davidson, Halliburton VP of Labor & Employment Lisa Modica, TGS General Counsel and Executive VP of Legal Tana Pool, LyondellBasell General Counsel/EVP Jeff Kaplan and retired tax attorney Charic Daniels Jellins.
When: Wednesday, April 5 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Check-in begins at 11 a.m.
Where: Marriott Marquis Houston (1777 Walker St)
Attire: Business casual encouraged
Individual seats and other sponsorship/donation options: https://hawc.org/believe2023/
Questions? Contact Natalie Hursey, HAWC director of development: firstname.lastname@example.org; 832-690-4653.
— The Dallas Hispanic Bar Foundation began fundraising for its May 17 Amanecer Luncheon, which will honor the recipients of law school scholarships, bar study grants and internships with Dallas-area judges. DHLF’s mission is to advance Hispanics in the legal profession, and since 2006, it has raised more than $500,000 for Hispanic law students and Hispanic high school and colleges students interested in the law. For this year’s event, DHLF seeks to raise $80,000, which will help fund the 2023 scholars. Internship offers and outreach to this year’s selected scholars are currently underway.
DHLF’s current president is Adrienne Dominguez of Holland & Knight. Co-chairs of this year’s luncheon are Vistra Energy General Counsel Stephanie Zapata Moore and CEC Entertainment Chief Legal Officer Rudy Rodriguez.
Click here to donate, become a sponsor or purchase an individual ticket to this year’s luncheon. Previous major sponsors include Vistra Corp., Baker McKenzie, Vinson & Elkins, Greenberg Traurig, AT&T, Holland & Knight, Moneygram and Jones Day.
— Finally, the Texas Lawbook Foundation would like to thank Kirkland & Ellis for its recent donation, which makes this column and other stories on The Lawbook’s pro bono, public service and diversity beat possible.
The Lawbook and Texas Lawbook Foundation thank Kirkland partners Andrew Calder, Taj Clayton, Michael Considine, and give an extra thanks to Joi Y. Bourgeois, the firm’s global director of diversity and inclusion.
In November, The Lawbook launched its first-ever full-time pro bono, public service and diversity writer position and announced that I would fill this new role after spending most of my decade-plus career at The Lawbook on the litigation beat.
Since launching this new beat, we have already published nearly three dozen articles on DEI, pro bono and public service, including this weekly P.S. column that highlights the charitable contributions of business lawyers in Texas. Every article on this beat is outside of the paywall and free for anyone to read. Click here for a list of articles that have run so far.
To fund the new position, The Lawbook created the Texas Lawbook Foundation, an IRS-approved tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.
This is Kirkland’s second donation of more than $25,000.
“The Texas Lawbook Foundation embodies the core values of ‘the Kirkland Pledge’ and we are proud to support its mission and important projects,” Bourgeois wrote in making the donation.
T-Mobile Vice President of Legal Affairs Chris Luna, who co-chairs the Texas Lawbook Foundation, praised Kirkland for the donation. “Thank you for your support and your faith in us,” Luna said. “You won’t be disappointed and we won’t let you down.”
Daria Russell, associate general counsel of Mattress Firm and Lawbook Foundation board member, also thanked Kirkland for its “generous contribution and support.”
To read more about the Foundation, our work, our plans for the beat and how to donate, visit texaslawbookfoundation.org.
A list of other law firms, general counsel, individual lawyers and corporate legal departments who have contributed to the foundation is here.
To all of our contributors: thank you, thank you, thank you. Each of you plays a significant role in making this work possible.