The San Antonio Young Lawyers Association (SAYLA) will present awards May 3 to two attorneys for their contributions to the justice and legal communities in San Antonio.
Solo practitioner James A. Rodriguez will receive the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, and Charles “Chip” Henry Rich III, a former prosecutor in the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, will be recognized posthumously with the Outstanding Mentor Award.
The award recognizes Rodriguez for his pro bono services to lower-income individuals. Rodriguez says that the San Antonio Bar Association presented him the Community Justice Program pro bono award in 2011 as the outstanding volunteer lawyer.
SAYLA also is recognizing Rodriguez for serving as a mentor to many other young lawyers. Rodriguez says he faced a lot of stress when he started his law practice after graduating from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2008 and wants to help other attorneys who are just getting started.
“I do what I can to ease people into the practice of law,” he says.
Rodriguez says he also invites law students to his office, takes them to the courthouse and introduces them to judges.
While his practice focuses on family law, he also handles probate, wills and trusts as well as some litigation, Rodriguez says. He says he also serves as presiding judge of the Von Ormy Municipal Court.
Rich, who died Nov. 5, 2012, spent 10 years working in the CDA’s office and mentored many young lawyers starting their career in that office, according to the SAYLA news release announcing the awards.
SAYLA will present the awards during the annual Law Day luncheon hosted by the San Antonio Bar Foundation.
— Mary Alice Robbins
Robbins is an Austin-based freelance writer and a former Texas Lawyer senior reporter.