Jackson Walker is actively involved in community service initiatives throughout its various cities. One component of such service is pro bono legal representation of individuals and organizations. In 2011, Jackson Walker attorneys donated more than 9,000 hours to pro bono clients.
The firm believes that pro bono service is an essential element of every attorney's professional responsibility and that attorneys possess unique skills and abilities to serve the disadvantaged and to promote the public interest in ways that no other profession can.
Jackson Walker attorneys have:
- Represented low income individuals through various legal aid organizations such as Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
- Handled federal court appointments in criminal and civil cases
- Assisted non-profit organizations in transactional matters through the Texas C-BAR
- Counseled numerous other non-profits, such as the SPCA, Habitat for Humanity, the YMCA, various chambers of commerce, and faith-based schools and institutions
- Received recognition for their dedication to pro bono services from Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and the San Antonio Bar Association Community Justice Program.
Recent pro bono matters handled by Jackson Walker attorneys:
- Jackson Walker won a critical victory for a veteran
struggling to make ends meet. The veteran was initially granted
unemployment benefits after losing his job a year ago but then lost them
on appeal before the Texas Workforce Commission. The decision, combined
with additional findings, placed him in the position of having to pay
back benefits - an insurmountable prospect for a man living in a
veteran's shelter and making barely enough to get by on. Through the
Community Justice Program, a Jackson Walker attorney agreed to take up
the veteran's cause, filing a motion for rehearing on the two related
cases. Despite the difficult and complicated nature of the cases, the
attorney's motion was granted on the merits of the client's position.
Based on the strength of the order, the veteran's claim is likely to
withstand any further challenge. Jackson Walker is honored to have had
the opportunity to assist this veteran, and we salute his service to our
- Jackson Walker recently assisted the Dallas International School (DIS) in a complex matter that was awarded the prize for "Most Innovative Corporate Deal or Strategic Merger" for 2008 by the Dallas Business Journal in connection with its acquisition of land from one university and the simultaneous "swap" of that land to another university to provide land to DIS to commence construction on a new campus. DIS is a Texas non-profit school with approximately 535 students. It is owned by the Mission Laique Francaise, a French non-profit association that is more than 100 years old and owns and operates almost 100 schools throughout the world that promote multiculturalism and the French curriculum. The complex real estate transaction involved rezoning issues, amended public and private deed restrictions, new financing, and many other moving parts over a long period of time. In addition, an educational agreement was reached between the University of Texas at Dallas and DIS. Jackson Walker was also awarded the prize for "Best Transaction Performance by a Law Firm" for 2008 by the Dallas Business Journal in connection with the firm's representation of DIS.
- Jackson Walker is also involved in a program called Project Salute. The Project Salute program is sponsored by the Detroit Law School to assist veterans with benefit issues. Jackson Walker is one of the largest participants involved in this project in the state of Texas, having recently sent 13 attorneys to a formal training program for this initiative. The firm is currently working on several cases for the project, including:
– A case involving a veteran seeking benefits connected with Agent Orange-related diabetes and hypertension, as well as an increase in the veteran's benefit rating relating to Agent Orange-related prostate cancer; and
– A disability claim involving the memory loss of a veteran.
- Jackson Walker also represented a soldier who was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq relating to a child custody matter. This case was brought to the firm's attention by the soldier's commanding executive officer, who is the son of one of the firm's partners. The soldier was financially supporting his child, but because he had learned that there were indications that the child was being neglected, he decided to seek full custody prior to deployment. Jackson Walker represented the soldier at no charge, and in the limited time available prior to his deployment, Jackson Walker helped the father obtain full custody of his 4-year-old son in an expedited judicial proceeding. The father is now serving at a Forward Operating Base in Iraq, and the child is being cared for by his paternal grandparents in Houston in a healthy and loving environment. Jackson Walker was privileged to do something special for a young soldier whose sacrifices and values are extraordinary.
- In coordination with the Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, Jackson Walker is also representing the mother of three children who had become embroiled in complicated custody dispute. Several Jackson Walker attorneys collaborated to represent the client in her various family matters. To date, the attorneys have worked over 300 hours on the case, representing the client in several hearings, including temporary orders hearings and protective order hearings. The attorneys have also worked with the client in non-legal related matters, including relocating her residence and enrolling her in a drug treatment program. As a result of these attorneys' efforts, the client currently has custody of her children. The attorneys continue to pursue resolution of other related claims through the courts, and are preparing for jury trials should alternative dispute resolution prove unsuccessful. The attorneys intend to represent the client until final orders on all matters are entered.
- Through their work with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, Jackson Walker attorneys became aware of a situation involving an elderly resident of Austin. The client is the owner of a home in East Austin, an area that has recently revitalized and seen rapid appreciation in property values. In 2005, a new neighbor moved in next door to the client and systematically gained the client's trust, isolated her from her friends and family, and then manipulated her trust, convincing her to enter into an Option to Purchase Agreement for her house. The Agreement would give the neighbor the indefinite opportunity to purchase the client's home at a value that is far below the true market value of the property. Jackson Walker attorneys are pursuing the matter thoroughly and are preparing to take the case to trial.
Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program
Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas
Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas