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Partners Awarded for Distinguished Bar Service

July 10, 2007

AUSTIN, TEXAS (July 10, 2007) — Bracewell & Giuliani LLP Houston trial partner Glenn Ballard and Austin managing partner Steve Benesh both received top honors at the State Bar of Texas’ annual convention as the outgoing presidents of their respective local bar associations.

Mr. Ballard, who just completed his one-year term as president of the Houston Bar Association, accepted the Award of Merit for Best Large Bar association.  Mr. Ballard is the seventh attorney from Bracewell to be president of HBA, which is the fifth largest metropolitan bar association in the nation. 

The Houston Bar also received a Star Award for Mr. Ballard’s introduction of the Equal Access to Justice initiative—considered one of the best new projects in the state.  The five-year program seeks to pre-commit large firms to handle a certain amount of pro-bono work each year, based on the size of the firm.  In its first year, the program helped HBA handle 25 percent more pro bono cases than ever before.

“We had a fantastic year and it was a privilege for me to serve the 12,000 members of the Houston Bar,” said Mr. Ballard.  “With Equal Access to Justice, we’ll be able to serve even more people who really need legal services in the coming years—it’s a program that will keep on giving,” added Mr. Ballard.

Austin Managing Partner Steve Benesh accepted the Award of Merit for Best Mid-Sized Bar Association.  The Austin Bar also received the State Bar’s Certificate of Merit for its Legal Build project in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity. 

Mr. Benesh, who just completed his one-year term as president of the Austin Bar Association, was recently elected to serve as Chair of the Austin Bar Foundation, effective July 1.  Mr. Benesh was the first Bracewell lawyer outside of Houston to be elected president of a local bar association.

“My goal as Austin bar president was to get lawyers to roll up their sleeves and focus on community service.  As the incoming Foundation Chair, I’m looking forward to another busy year of service to the Bar and community,” said Mr. Benesh.