TRLA staff at the 2019 Poverty Law Conference
The Poverty Law Section of the State Bar of Texas gave numerous awards to TRLA staff at the 2019 Poverty Law Conference in Austin. Laurie Hallmark, TRLA’s Mental Health Programs Team Manager, received the Impact Award for the successful implementation of a new clinical program that enables people with serious mental illness to create psychiatric advance directives. Psychiatric advance directives are legal documents that allow individuals with serious mental illness to state their preferences for treatment in the event of commitment to a hospital. Laurie’s inspired idea was to force change of the system from within – by empowering individuals with serious mental illness with knowledge of their legal rights and the power to enforce them.
Attorney Jennifer Harbury was honored with the Noble Award for a lifetime of advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society. Former TRLA Executive Director David Hall presented the award to Jennifer while detailing her storied career, which has taken her from Harvard Law School to helping start TRLA’s Hereford office in the Texas panhandle to assist migrant farmworkers to her work in Central America, Florida, and along the Texas-Mexico border.
The Poverty Law Section also honored Alberto “Beto” Mesta, TRLA’s El Paso Branch Manager, for his work as the chairman of the Poverty Law Section of the State Bar over the last two years; his award was presented by Linley Boone-Almaguer, TRLA’s Disaster Benefits Team Manager.
TRLA is also proud to announce that attorneys Liana Dixon, Victoria Branch Manager, and Tracey Whitley, Elder Law Team Manager, have been appointed to serve on the council of the Poverty Law Section of the State Bar.