Pro Bono

Every generation of Gardere leaders has been passionate about giving back in meaningful and original ways, including advocating for those who lack the resources to advocate for themselves. While it satisfies our ethical obligation to help those in need, it is a part of what makes our lawyers strong leaders in their practices and in our communities.

Gardere lawyers have longstanding relationships with many volunteer organizations, including:

  • Child Refugee Support Network
  • Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity
  • Dallas Bar Association – Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP)
  • Dallas Holocaust Museum
  • Dallas International School
  • Equal Access to Justice Program
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers
  • Human Rights Initiative
  • I Have a Dream Foundation
  • Innocence Project
  • Jingle Bell Run
  • LegalLine
  • Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas
  • Migrant Clinicians Network
  • North Texas Legal Clinic
  • Texas CBar
  • The Houston Bar Foundation
  • Turtle Creek Chorale
  • Youth for Tomorrow Foundation

In Mexico, our lawyers are affiliated with non-governmental organizations and universities dedicated to providing legal services across the economic spectrum.

The matters that our lawyers undertake are as diverse as society’s needs. For example, our lawyers have provided legal advice to hundreds of nonprofit organizations in medical research, education and housing. As a result, we have earned the following recognitions:

  • In 2014, for the fifth time, Gardere earned the Houston Bar Foundation’s award for “Outstanding Pro Bono Contributions” by an intermediate-size law firm.
  • The Dallas Bar Association has honored Gardere with six awards, including awarding us “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year” and “Model Law Firm” for our family law clinic model and contributions in excess of 5,000 hours.
  • The Houston Bar Association has designated Gardere as a “Star Volunteer” for our work with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers program and for our participation in the HBA’s Equal Access to Justice program.
  • Gardere was the inaugural inductee into the Dallas Bar Association Pro Bono Hall of Fame in 1998.

Pro Bono Client Story

Gardere recently implemented a Firm-wide initiative to provide pro bono legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America who have been coming to Texas in increasing numbers these past few years. Below is a client success story from Gardere Partner Larry Schoenbrun, who volunteers for the Child Refugees Support Network:

We have been representing a young girl from El Salvador who came to the Texas as part of the 50,000 to 60,000 children that came in the last year. Her father is a police officer in El Salvador, which is dominated by gangs. He paid a coyote to smuggle his daughter to the border, and she swam across. As part of the Firm’s immigration asylum program, we met our client at a clinic for these children and helped her fill out a 15-page form, navigated through three hearings (including an interview in the Houston Asylum Office) and obtained a court order in domestic relations court. We are told that virtually all of the kids will be sent back to their home country. It is clear that none of these children could navigate this process without counsel. We were advised today, April 13, 2015, that our client has been granted asylum. We have been told that this is the only confirmed grant of asylum out of the clinic program run by Catholic Charities. There is a wonderful Jewish saying that is appropriate to this situation: “To save a life is to save the world.”

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