News Release

Texas Access to Justice Commission
Texas Access to Justice Foundation
State Bar of Texas
June 24, 2011

Texas Access to Justice Foundation Honors Senator John Cornyn for Access to Justice Efforts

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, in conjunction with the Texas Access to Justice Commission and State Bar of Texas, honored U.S. Senator John Cornyn with the prestigious Harold F. Kleinman Award on Friday, June 24, during the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan L. Hecht, the Court’s liaison for access to justice issues, presented the award to Sen. Cornyn for his efforts in protecting the federal insurance coverage on IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts), thereby preserving legal services funding for those who otherwise would have no access to our justice system.

“Throughout my career, I have witnessed firsthand how important access to legal services is, regardless of socioeconomic status. Legal services have helped countless low-income Texans resolve housing and employment issues, as well as recover from natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires. I’ve been proud to work on this issue, and I’m honored to receive the Harold F. Kleinman Award,” Sen. Cornyn said.

Late last year, Sen. Cornyn joined several of his colleagues in the Senate in a bipartisan effort to gain support for an important piece of legislation that corrected an oversight in the Dodd-Frank Act regarding IOLTA accounts. U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett filed H.R. 6398, legislation that continued full FDIC insurance coverage of IOLTA, a primary source of funding for legal aid.

“Through Senator Cornyn’s leadership in the Senate on this bipartisan issue, he has made a significant impact in helping provide access to justice to the more than 5.7 million Texans who qualify for legal aid,” Justice Hecht said. “The decline in funding for legal aid in Texas would have been much worse without this effort of our Congressional leaders.”

In Texas, the IOLTA program provides critically needed funding for basic civil legal services for poor and low-income Texans. IOLTA funding in Texas has suffered a 73 percent decline since 2007 due to declining interest rates. To be eligible for legal aid, an individual must earn no more than $13,613 a year. For a family of four, the household income cannot exceed $27,938. 

Established by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation in 1995, the Harold F. Kleinman Award, named for the Foundation’s first chairman, is given to individuals whose outstanding character, commitment and public service to the people of Texas, make them true leaders in access to civil justice. Sen. Cornyn is the fourteenth recipient to receive the award.


The Texas Access to Justice Commission was created in 2001 by the Supreme Court of Texas to develop and implement policy initiatives designed to expand access to and enhance the quality of justice in civil legal matters for low-income Texans. The Commission has created several initiatives to increase resources and awareness of legal aid. For more information, please visit

 The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the primary state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to approximately 100,000 Texas families each year.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. 


Contact: Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104


Recent News


Sept. 26, 2017

New Campaign Seeks to Honor Veterans and Raise Funds for Legal Services

Aug. 28, 2017

Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Legal Aid Fund. Help the Survivors Rebuild their Lives.

July 28, 2017

TAJF Is Hiring an Accountant & Compliance Specialist

June 6, 2017

First National Bank of Aspermont Joins Prime Partner Program

May 4, 2017

New Jamail Endowment Supports Legal Services for Veterans

March 29, 2017

Many sexual assault survivors unaware free legal help is available - by Justice Eva Guzman Austin American-Statesman

March 21, 2017

Texas Legal Hotline Available for Survivors of Sexual Assault 

March 3, 2017

New applicants for 2017 TAJF grants must submit a Letter of Intent to Apply - By March 31 

Feb. 17, 2017

Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program application process opens- Deadline March 27 

Dec. 4, 2016

TAJF: Your Return on Investment - A year-end snapshot 

Nov. 4, 2016

Nov. 6-12 is Texas Veterans Legal Aid Week   

Oct. 25, 2016

TAJF Luncheon Kicks Off Pro Bono Week: ATJ Community Honors Legislative Heroes  

Sept. 19, 2016

Carlos M. Zaffirini, Jr., Apppointed to TAJF Board of Directors  

Sept. 14, 2016

TAJF Names 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellows

Aug. 22, 2016

Parenting Order Legal Line: Increasing Parenting Time for the Benefit of Children - ABA Dialogue 

Aug. 10, 2016

Legal aid groups aid to help poor families make smart decisions - KERA 

July 8, 2016

Help for sexual assault survivors - Corpus Christi Caller-Times  

July 8, 2016

One reason so many veterans are homeless? They can't afford lawyers. - Washington Post

June 6, 2016

Investing in Justice: Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault. - Philanthropy Southwest

May 19, 2016

Undue process: Poor people lose homes, children and money without a lawyer -

May 18, 2016

Military Sexual Assault Victims Discharged After Filing Complaints - Time 

May 9, 2016

Rape survivors on a mission to help others... - Dallas Morning News  


More news

© 2017 Texas Access to Justice Foundation