During Pro Bono Week, Baylor Law Assistant Dean Stephen Rispoli Emphasizes the Importance of Pro Bono During CJE Course for Texas Judges

October 29, 2021

During Pro Bono Week, Baylor Law Assistant Dean Stephen Rispoli Emphasizes the Importance of Pro Bono During CJE Course for Texas Judges


Panelists for the 'Can We Really Do That?' CJE Course. Top (L-R): Anne Chandler; Director of the Tahirih Justice Center in Houston; Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs at Baylor Law, Stephen Rispoli; Hon. Selena N. Solis, District Judge, 243rd Judicial District. Bottom (L-R): Hon. Gina M. Benavides, Texas Thirteenth District Court of Appeals; Hon. Lora Livingston, Presiding Judge of the 261st District Court; and Jacqueline Habersham, Executive Director at Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct.



WACO

On Wednesday, October 27th, Assistant Dean Stephen Rispoli participated in a panel discussion hosted by the State Bar of Texas Pro Bono Workgroup – Judiciary Subcommittee. "Can We Really Do That? The Ethics of Judicial Involvement in Pro Bono" is approved for one hour of CLE for Texas attorneys (including 1 hour of ethics) and one hour of CJE credit.

The panel discussed how pro bono efforts can expand access to justice and what Texas judges can do to encourage pro bono efforts among Texas attorneys. The panel also took a deep dive into the ethical considerations that judges must be aware of when either promoting or participating in pro bono efforts.

"While judges do have to be mindful of certain limitations that exist on the pro bono work they can promote or participate in, judges should feel empowered to be active participants in their local communities," stated Dean Rispoli. "Their involvement in helping underserved populations will go a long way toward fixing the perception issues our legal system faces by helping all citizens understand that the system is for everyone. Judges can have a significant role in closing the access to justice gap."

Texas lawyers and judges who were unable to watch the presentation live will be able to view the recording when it becomes available.




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ABOUT BAYLOR LAW
Established in 1857, Baylor University School of Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,600 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as one of the top 5 in the nation. Baylor Law is also ranked in the top 50 in the magazine's 2019 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and in the top 15 "Best Law School Facilities" in the country. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award's inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu

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