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Engaging Our Community

Service and Outreach

Outreach to our community is one of the fundamental purposes of the Lochridge Inn and the American Inns of Court generally. The Lochridge Inn is proud to partner with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas to provide pro bono legal services to low-income Austinites and to actively foster a spirit of charity and community commitment in our members. The Inn has established two programs in partnership with VLS:

  • First, each pupillage team commits to spending at least one evening during the course of the Inn year working at a local VLS clinic to give members of our community in need of advice and assistance in accessing the civil justice system.
  • Second, to further expand the Inn's involvement with VLS and to regularize its members' service to VLS clients, the Inn has set a standing monthly "docket call" at VLS's Martin Middle School clinic. Any and all Inn members are encouraged to attend and provide legal advice to clients regularly. Afterwards, Inn members are invited to join in an informal social event, often hosted by an Inn master, allowing for additional mentoring and relationship-building opportunities across multiple teams and practice levels.

The Inn is proud to note that these sessions commonly result in Lochridge Inn members taking on VLS clients for pro bono representation in court. As Judge Andy Austin observed about the benefits of the Inn's VLS partnership, "young lawyers have the chance to work side-by-side with experienced attorneys to provide hands-on advice to live clients with real problems. And it's a great opportunity to make that happen in an Inn setting." And VLS sees real benefits, too -- as its executive director Priscilla Cortez noted, her organization "deeply appreciates the gift of time and expertise Lochridge Inn members put into action at our more than 100 legal advice clinics in Austin. We simply could not improve access to justice without their partnership."

Reflecting Our Community

Reflecting the diversity of Austin and our local legal community is another cornerstone of the Lochridge Inn's commitment to improving professionalism and civility among our members, past and present. The Inn fully subscribes to the American Inns of Court Diversity Policy and extends the benefits of membership without regard to race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age, appearance, physical ability, opinions, perspective, or lifestyle. And because engaging with the widest possible variety of views, experiences, and practices enriches the experience of every member, the Lochridge Inn actively cultivates and promotes a diverse membership including legal professionals from both the public and private sectors, judges, law students and professors, across a wide range of litigation-focused disciplines and practice areas.