Texas Legal Benefit Plan Honors _ for Advancing Group Legal Services Industry

CHICAGO, Nov. 26, 2012 – A nonprofit legal benefit plan founded by the State Bar of Texas is honoring the _ for its role in developing the group legal services industry, which helps consumers manage their legal needs through insurance-style programs.

The Texas Legal Protection Plan will present its Leadership Award to the ABA at the plan’s 40th anniversary celebration Nov. 30 at the Texas State History Museum in Austin. Also to be honored is the ABA-associated American Prepaid Legal Services Institute.

The ABA will be represented by President-Elect James R. Silkenat; the institute will be represented by President-Elect Pat Monks.

The award citations say that both groups “helped TLPP to achieve 40 years of success in serving Texans.” The ABA and the institute are recognized throughout the group legal services field for their work to protect the rights of consumers and ensure the highest ethical conduct of participating lawyers.

The Texas plan had its roots in an ABA study from the late 1960s, commissioned by then President Bernard G. Segal, which revealed public frustration with the rising costs of hiring a lawyer. When the state bar learned of the study’s findings, it created the prepaid program allowing Texans to seek services from participating lawyers at a reduced cost without sacrificing quality.

Plan benefits range from simple advice to representation with estate planning, civil or criminal actions, consumer protection, juvenile matters, divorce, adoption and other matters.

The award citation says that without the findings of the report from the ABA Special Committee on Availability of Legal Services (also known as the McCalpin Committee, named after chair F. William McCalpin), “the TLPP would not have been viewed as necessary and never would have been formed.”

Said Keith B. McLennan, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Group and Prepaid Legal Services, the ABA’s “insight and forward thinking has helped shape the way people access the legal system in the United States and in Texas.”

The American Prepaid Legal Services Institute is a professional membership organization that represents the legal services plan industry and is dedicated to advancing access to quality legal services through legal services plans and industry collaboration. Members of the ABA Standing Committee on Group and Prepaid Legal Services serve as half of the institute’s board of directors. The institute is staffed by the ABA and housed at the association’s Chicago headquarters.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the world’s largest voluntary professional membership organization. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.