AUSTIN, Texas– LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire –John Grisham, attorne…

AUSTIN, Texas– LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire –John Grisham, attorney and best-selling author, is donating $20,000 to the Texas Access to Justice Commission to partially sponsor law-student interns working at legal aid organizations this summer.

Legal aid organizations provide free advice or representation in civil matters, such as family law and housing issues, to low-income Texans. The law-student interns will work with legal aid attorneys in Angleton, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Edinburg, Laredo, Tyler, San Juan and Weslaco.

Grisham will speak at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in June and will donate his speaker’s honorarium to the Texas Access to Justice Commission’s Summer Law Student Internship Program. Grisham’s $20,000 contribution will be utilized for stipends for the law-student interns who participate in the program.

The internship program, a collaboration between the Commission and all nine Texas law schools, provides law students with the opportunity to participate in efforts to ensure that more low-income Texans have access to the justice system. The program also brings much-needed civil legal aid to areas of the state that lack a nearby law school. This year, 14 interns from seven Texas law schools will spend seven weeks learning to help low-income Texans who face serious legal problems.

“We are delighted with the success of the Summer Internship Program and very grateful to John Grisham for his generous donation which will help these young law students defray some of the costs of relocating for the summer,” James B. Sales, chair of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, said. “The deans of our law schools have been extraordinarily supportive of this project, which they developed.”

The interns attended a training and orientation session in Austin on May 17 and 18, where they learned about the basics of poverty law, interviewing and counseling clients, and professional responsibility issues. The internship will run May to July.

John Grisham will be the featured speaker at the Thursday lunch of the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting on June 21 in San Antonio. For information about the event, visit www.texasbar.com/annualmeeting.

The Texas Access to Justice Commission (www.TexasATJ.org) 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 for and awareness of legal aid, including the domestic violence Protective Order Kit, the Texas Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program, and www.TexasLawHelp.org, an online resource for free legal information.