The Texas Access to Justice Foundation, or TAJF, which provides grant funding for civil legal aid in Texas, announced the creation of the Terry O. Tottenham Veterans Justice Fellowship. The fellowship honors veteran, current TAJF Secretary, and former State Bar of Texas President Terry O. Tottenham, who is of counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright in Austin.
The new fellowship will be a priority for one of the annually selected, TAJF-sponsored Equal Justice Work Fellows to help address the legal needs of our veterans. Each year a Veterans Justice Fellow will be selected ensuring that lawyers are routinely placed to address the pressing legal issues facing veterans throughout Texas.
“Veterans deserve access to our civil justice system as they struggle with legal needs affecting their health, housing, and financial security,” said Deborah Hankinson, chair of the TAJF board of directors, in a press release. “Terry Tottenham is an exceptional lawyer who served in the U.S. Marines, and we’re honored to create this fellowship in recognition of his tireless efforts to serve those who have served.”
Tottenham joined the TAJF Board of Directors in 2013. In 2010, while president of the State Bar of Texas, he formed the Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans program, which was based on a program originally created by the Houston Bar Association in 2008. This model is now followed by many other states to provide pro bono civil legal assistance to veterans and their families who otherwise cannot afford legal services.
Allen Martin, an Abilene native and a graduating third-year student at Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law, has been selected as the inaugural Tottenham Veterans Justice Fellow. Martin’s fellowship will mitigate veteran homelessness in rural Central Texas by implementing a medical-legal partnership at a VA clinic to meet legal needs related to housing, discharge upgrades, and financial and family stability. Martin will begin his two-year fellowship in September at the Texas Legal Services Center in Austin.
For more information about the TAJF, go to teajf.org.