News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
Sept. 2,  2020

Texas Access to Justice Foundation adds esteemed Houston attorney Travis Torrence to board of directors


AUSTIN, Texas—The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF), which provides grant funding for civil legal aid in Texas, has announced the addition of prominent Houston attorney Travis Torrence to its board of directors. The Supreme Court of Texas appointed Torrence to a three-year term beginning on September 1.

Torrence serves as the Global Litigation Bankruptcy & Credit Team Lead for Shell Oil Company and has been with the corporation since 2013. In his current role, he manages a team of attorneys and legal support professionals handling bankruptcy and credit legal issues for all of Shell’s business units in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to joining Shell, Torrence was a senior associate at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP (now known as Norton Rose Fulbright), where he was chair of the Houston office’s Recruiting Committee and helped found the firm’s Diversity Advisory Council. Before joining Fulbright, he clerked for the Honorable Edward C. Prado of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. A man of many talents, Torrence was also an on-air radio personality and DJ for B-97 FM, New Orleans’ #1 Hit Music Station, from 2001-2002.

“Travis is a tremendous talent in both law and life,” Deborah Hankinson, board chair of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “He brings a wealth of legal knowledge and a giving and generous spirit to the board, and we are honored to have his perspective in guiding the Foundation in its mission of ensuring access to justice for all Texans.”

In 2019, Torrence was recognized as “Rising Star” in the area of bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights by Texas Super Lawyers, and was a 2016 Houston Business Journal “40 Under 40” honoree and a finalist in the publication’s Best Corporate Counsel Awards. He currently serves as treasurer of the National LGBT Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors, the immediate past chair of the Houston Bar Foundation and a board of trustees member of the Hollyfield Foundation, an organization dedicated to funding nonprofits that serve LGBT causes, programs and services

As part of Houston’s thriving philanthropic scene, Torrence has been featured, along with several local celebrities, as a celebrity model for fashion shows at galas for Bo’s Place, a Houston-based nonprofit bereavement center. Torrence is also the 2014 champion of Urban Souls’ Dancing with the Houston Stars. His chairmanship has been tapped for various philanthropic events, including the 2014 World AIDS Day Luncheon, Victory Fund’s 2016 Champagne Brunch, the Montrose Center’s 2018 Out For Good Gala and the 2018 Camp For All Gala.

Torrence graduated from Yale Law School and is now a member of the Yale Law School Fund Board. Additionally, he serves on the dean’s advisory council for Tulane University’s School of Liberal Arts and the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. He is a former member of the executive committee of the board of directors of the State Bar of Texas, former President of the Arthur L. Moller-David B. Foltz, Jr. American Inn of Court, former president of the Bo’s Place Board of Directors and former member of the board of trustees of the Texas Bar Foundation. Torrence has also served as co-chair of the Texas Minority Counsel Program.

The Foundation’s board includes 13 attorney and public members—seven are appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas and six by the State Bar of Texas.

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 offering free civil legal assistance to qualified Texans. 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 critical legal issues. 



Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104


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