The Texas Access to Justice Commission, along with its co-sponsor, the State Bar of Texas, raised $485,000 to help provide civil legal services to low-income Texas veterans during the Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans on April 25 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Proceeds from the gala will be distributed by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF.

Supreme Court of Texas Justice and TAJF liaison Brett Busby served as the master of ceremonies for the evening. He emphasized how civil legal issues can impact veterans and the many ways they can benefit from legal assistance. Busby also presented the 2023 James B. Sales Boots on the Ground Award to Victor L. Hunt, of Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, and Maureen O’Connell, of Disability Rights Texas; the 2023 Harry M. Reasoner Justice for All Award to Thomas S. Leatherbury, director of SMU Dedman School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic; and the 2023 Emily C. Jones Lifetime Achievement Award to TAJF Executive Director Betty Balli Torres.