News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
May 21, 2020

Endowment program supporting legal services for Texas veterans reaches $1M in donations

Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services will offer continued support for free veteran legal services in the future


AUSTIN, Texas––The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF)­­––the largest state-based funding source for civil legal aid––today announced the Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services reached a milestone of $1 million dollars in donations from lawyers, others in the legal community, the Jamail family and Jamail’s personal friends.

The Endowment—created in 2017 to ensure Texas veterans have fair and equitable access to the justice system, as well as civil legal help to successfully integrate back into civilian life—will support continued veteran legal services. Named in honor of Texas attorney Joe Jamail, well-known in the legal community for his philanthropic efforts, the Endowment was created by Houston attorney Richard Mithoff––a protégé of Jamail––in an effort to continue Jamail’s mission of access to justice for all.

 “Joe was passionate and committed, especially when it came to veterans who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us,” Mithoff said. “The Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services was created to commemorate his dedication and commitment to our veterans and active service members. As a Marine, Joe saw a need for civil legal aid in the veteran community, and it is our honor to continue to serve those who have served our country.”

 Texas has the second-highest population of veterans in the nation. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, legal issues account for five of the top 10 unmet needs of homeless veterans. The ability to access free legal services is necessary for veterans to obtain the benefits and support they need for themselves and their families.

 “Providing civil legal support to Texas veterans is crucial in ensuring they can get back to their lives after serving our country,” Harry Reasoner, Chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission and partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP, said. “Joe and his wife Lee were among the greatest philanthropists in Texas history, giving many millions to support higher education, medical care, the needs of Veterans and other worthy causes.

 Thanks to financial support from TAJF and the Endowment, legal aid organizations and pro bono lawyers throughout Texas are able to provide legal representation to veterans with civil legal problems such as denial of medical care; legal issues related to disabilities; problems receiving benefits; family law matters arising from deployment; and more. Now that the Endowment has reached $1 million in donations, legal aid efforts on behalf of Veterans will continue to be supported.

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.

Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104


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