Fewer than 20% of indigent and low-income residents of South Texas have access to representation when faced with a civil legal problem.
While the San Antonio Bar Association (SABA) offers legal representation to those in need, the Community Justice Program only has $250,000 in revenue compared to Austin’s $1 million. To address this, Jackson Walker partner Robert L. Soza, Jr. has led the charge to revitalize SABA’s pro bono activities—beginning with helping form a committee dedicated to isolating the Community Justice Program from the association.
By the Numbers
“Bexar County has the sixth-largest veteran population in the U.S., and there is a huge unmet need in San Antonio due to lack of funding,” Robert said. “To help fulfill that need, we are working to form an independent organization that emulates those in Austin, Dallas, and Houston.”
“Bexar County has the sixth-largest veteran population in the U.S., and there is a huge unmet need in San Antonio due to lack of funding.”
To do this, the committee has worked to create the Community Justice Foundation, install its initial Board of Directors—for which Robert has been appointed as President—and secure funding to ensure expanded access to justice.
In honor of his service to SABA, Robert was recognized with the President’s Award on August 22, 2019. Each year, the award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional service to the public and the legal profession.
“Robert Soza is a perfect example of a dedicated civil servant,” San Antonio Managing Partner Julia W. Mann said. “Between his work with the San Antonio Bar Association and the Abode home, Robert has made a lasting, positive impact on the community. Congratulations to Robert on this well-deserved honor.”
Established in 1898, the San Antonio Bar Association is a voluntary professional membership association of attorneys and legal professionals. As the largest bar organization in San Antonio, SABA provides continuing legal educational programs for the legal community and legal outreach for the public.
To view photos from the ceremony, visit the SABA Annual Meeting 2019 album on Facebook. For a look at Robert’s involvement as President of the Board of Directors for Abode Contemplative Care for the Dying, view “Robert Soza to Speak at Omega Home Network National Conference Hosted by Abode in San Antonio.”
Robert L. Soza, Jr. is a partner in Jackson Walker’s San Antonio office. His practice focuses on environmental disputes, personal injury claims, property damage claims, and civil enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Outside of his practice, Robert devotes time to promoting and working on pro bono and public interest projects in Bexar County. In addition to serving the San Antonio Bar Association, Robert volunteers with the Abode Contemplative Care for the Dying and Boy Scouts of America Troop 285.