The honorees are Diane V. DeVasto as the Smith County Volunteer Attorney of the Year, and Potter Minton as the 2012 Smith County Law Firm of the Year.
They will be honored Nov. 9 at the monthly meeting of the Smith County Bar Foundation.
Ms. DeVasto currently is working as an attorney for Potter Minton, following a judicial career in the Tyler municipal courts, the Smith County Court of Law and the Texas 12th Court of Appeals.
During her years on the bench, Judge DeVasto strongly encouraged pro bono work, according to a news release.
“I have found that pro bono legal service is one of the most rewarding experiences in any lawyer's career. It means the difference between justice for some and justice for all,” she said.
Ms. DeVasto currently works as a pro bono mediator and locates other attorneys willing to represent cases.
The Potter Minton firm, located in Tyler, also received a pro bono award for its service to the poor in civil matters. A report from firm member John Bufe on the gaps in representation for the poor in civil matters is what inspired the Smith County Bar Foundation to establish a voluntary attorney program, according to a news release.
Almost all the firm's 17 attorneys participate in the volunteer attorney program, the release stated.
Lone Star Legal is the fourth largest provider of free legal aid in the United States, and is headquartered in Houston with offices in Tyler and 13 other cities across Southeast and East Texas.
For more information, go to www.celebratepro bono.org.