Big News out of TEXAS!


Texas is a large state and they have big ideas there. It’s no wonder that a BIG IDEA IMPACT STUDY comes from there.



Yesterday, the Texas Access to Justice Commission, Texas Access to Justice Foundation and the Texas Supreme Court hosted a news conference to underscore a funding crisis in the Texas legal aid system. The group also announced an impact study by The Perryman Group entitled The Impact of Legal Aid Services on Economic Activity in Texas: An Analysis of Current Efforts and Expansion Potential.


o Currently, legal aid services lead to a sizable stimulus to the Texas economy. The Perryman Group estimated the gain in business activity to include an annual $457.6 million in spending, $219.7 million in output (gross product), and 3,171 jobs.

o For every direct dollar expended in the state for indigent civil legal services, the overall annual gains to the economy are found to be $7.42 in total spending, $3.56 in output (gross product), and $2.20 in personal income.

o Moreover, this activity generates approximately $30.5 million in yearly fiscal revenues to State and local governmental entities, which is well above their approximately $4.8 million in contributions.

There is a large unmet need for legal aid, and increased funding (and, thus, assistance) would lead to further gains in business activity in addition to the other social benefits of more equitable access.

The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission is especially interested in what comes out of Texas because of Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O’Neill’s role in helping South Carolina establish our own Commission. Not only that, but the Texas Access to Justice Community has been a trendsetter in the national access to justice community.

Certainly food for thought. We can all use all the help we can get!




Access to Justice, Texas Style

Yesterday the Texas Supreme Court held an Access to Justice hearing and the hearing is online here.

Please tune in even if only for a little while. Texas has been leading the nation in its access to justice initiatives. Texas Justice Harriet O’Neill, a South Carolina native, was instrumental in helping South Carolina establish its own access to justice and Emily Jones, former Texas ATJ director mentored me when I first started at the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission.

Congratulations Texas!


Former TX Supreme Court Justice: Legal Prof’ls are guardians of justice

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Craig Enoch spoke at a luncheon on Wednesday. According to, he spoke about the role of legal professionals in upholding the rule of law and access to justice. Excerpts include:

  • “Administering or guarding the rules that keep the system of justice in place is a critical component of the job of any legal professional . . . as the Constitution is only superior because of the way it’s applied through due process, not simply because of the words our founders wrote.”
  • “[There is] the significant role legal professionals play in the lives of citizens whether settling disputes about car accidents or deciding whether a mother should be granted custody of her children.”
  • “To be in the legal profession then is to be a servant to others.”

Everyday justice.

Hmm. Nice Concept. Legal professionals working to bring about justice everyday for all.