News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
October 8,

Texas Access to Justice Foundation Adds Three Members to Board of Directors

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF), which gives grant funding for civil legal aid in Texas, has named three new members to its board of directors. The new members include Rod Edens III of Austin, Kay Sim of Dallas, and Lisa Tatum of San Antonio. Each were appointed for a three-year term.

“We are pleased to welcome Lisa, Rod and Kay to our board as we continue our work to ensure access to justice for all Texans,” Richard L. Tate, chair of the board of directors of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “All three new members bring diverse backgrounds and talents to the board as we continue to work with legal aid organizations to provide civil legal assistance for disadvantaged Texans.”

The Foundation’s board includes 13 attorney and public members, seven who are appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas and six by the State Bar of Texas. Edens, a banker with more than 20 years in the industry, is an executive vice president of the Austin market at PlainsCapital Bank. Sim, who formerly served as executive director of the Houston Bar Association, created many of the organization’s public service and community education programs during her tenure. Tatum is the founder and owner of LM Tatum, PLLC, a San Antonio-based law practice focused on business, corporate, employment and public finance law and a former president of the State Bar of Texas.

G. Joseph Barrientos, a partner in Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP, in Corpus Christi and Terry O. Tottenham, a partner in Norton Rose Fulbright, in Austin were also re-appointed to three-year terms.

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation was created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984 to provide funding for the civil legal needs of poor and low-income Texans. The Foundation grants millions of dollars each year to approximately 40 organizations statewide offering free civil legal assistance to those who qualify. With TAJF grants, legal aid organizations advise more than 150,000 low-income Texans annually on such civil matters as protection from domestic violence, assistance with housing and other issues. 


The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the leading 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 more than 150,000 Texas families each year.


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


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