PrintIn commemoration of National Pro Bono Week (October 21-27), Lone Star Legal Aid’s Nacogdoches Branch Office honors Lynda K. Russell with three prestigious Pro Bono Awards: Most Cases Handled Award, Most Litigated Cases Handled Award, and Most Contested Cases Handled Award. Lone Star Legal Aid’s Pro Bono awards recognize attorneys, law firms and community partners who donate their time and legal expertise to ensuring that all Shelby County and East Texas residents have equal access to the courts.

Lynda K. Russell has been a solo practitioner in Shelby County since 2012 and has volunteered through Lone Star Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Project since opening her practice. Ms. Russell has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty as a volunteer. A former Shelby County District Attorney with over twenty years of legal experience, Ms. Russell has selflessly donated her time and expertise with Lone Star Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Program by providing legal help to several low-income individuals who could not afford to hire an attorney.

Ms. Russell’s unrelenting willingness to give back has continued unabated through the years, notwithstanding that so much dear to her has been taken: in 2016, she lost her beloved husband of twenty-nine years, Phil Hennigan and in 2017, she lost the assistance of her invaluable and much-loved paralegal, Sharla Foster, to terminal cancer. Ms. Russell was the recipient of Lone Star Legal Aid Pro Bono Awards in 2017 and she dedicated the awards, as well as her success in the legal profession, to Ms. Foster during an emotional awards ceremony in the 123rd Judicial District Court attended by Ms. Foster in the weeks before she passed away.

Ms. Russell never has just one pro bono case going but usually a half dozen or more, many of whom are victims of domestic violence and were in abusive situations prior to Ms. Russell’s assistance. When Ms. Russell hears about a low-income individual in need of legal services, she does not hesitate to refer them to Lone Star Legal Aid to be qualified for free legal services and referred back to her for representation. In addition, Ms. Russell accepts pro bono matters in several counties in East Texas, aside from Shelby County, and she always answers a call for help.

A tenacious and effective advocate, as well as an accomplished musician, Lone Star Legal Aid salutes Lynda K. Russell for her deep personal commitment to pro bono service and her legacy of helping to protect the most vulnerable residents of Shelby County and contiguous counties.

The week of October 21-27 has been designated as the “National Pro Bono Celebration” by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. The goal is to showcase the remarkable difference that pro bono lawyers make to our nation, to our system of justice, to our communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve. For more information, see www.celebrateprobono.org.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: Clarissa Ayala, cayala@lonestarlegal.org