Berg & Androphy Earns Prestigious Harris County Bench Bar Award for Fifth Ward Pro Bono Program 

Berg & Androphy Earns Prestigious Harris County Bench Bar Award for Fifth Ward Pro Bono Program 

Berg & Androphy has been awarded the prestigious 2017 Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Award in the small-size firm category.  The Houston Bar Association and the Harris County judiciary established the award program to recognize outstanding pro bono service by law firms, corporations and individual attorneys.

Several years ago, Berg & Androphy brought Michelle Alexander to Houston to speak about her epochal book, The New Jim Crow, which has been recognized nationwide as having created the bipartisan criminal justice reform movement.  Her book and powerful speech inspired Joel Androphy to establish a pro bono program at Berg & Androphy that provides zealous representation in criminal cases for Black youth and other people of color in Houston’s Fifth Ward.

Since that time, lawyers, paralegals, and staff at Berg & Androphy have provided hundreds of hours each year assisting our Fifth Ward pro bono clients.  For example, after a year-long battle, Berg & Androphy successfully represented an Iraqi/Syrian refugee accused of robbery.   Likewise, the work Berg & Androphy is doing has garnered the attention of national and community leaders, such as U.S. Rep. John Lewis, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, and the Fifth Ward’s Reverend Harvey Clemons of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.  We have brought these leaders together in public and private sessions to explore how Harris County can reform its criminal justice system.

Berg & Androphy’s goal is to level the playing field and eliminate to the extent possible the well-documented, racially motivated convictions and sentences that make a successful life for the young children of color an impossibility.  For many, prison life has taken the place of high school, college, and graduate school.

The annual Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards Ceremony will take place on April 30, 3018 at the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Harris County Civil Courthouse.  In addition to being recognized at the ceremony, Berg & Androphy will be included on a special permanent plaque display in the lobbies of the Harris County Civil, Criminal, Family, and Juvenile courthouses.