The Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work award honors an attorney, law firm, corporate legal department, government attorney office, or institution in the legal profession that has made an outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.
Rivera launched her pro bono service as program coordinator and staff attorney for Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, Texas. After opening a private practice, she began volunteering with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, representing indigent clients in family law matters and answering its hotline. Her service to the Tarrant County Bar Association includes acting as a volunteer for the Tarrant County Bar Foundation LegalLine, a local community service program.
Rivera has also served as chair of the TCBF statewide program Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, where she developed the training program for volunteers and procedures for the legal clinics, recruited a network of pro bono attorneys to assist with legal problems, and forged a partnership with local agencies to assist with other issues facing the veterans.
Rivera is the first Pro Bono Programs director of the Tarrant County Bar Association, coordinating all pro bono programs for the TCBF and working closely with the legal community and Legal Aid of Northwest Texas to ensure that all low-income and disadvantaged citizens have access to justice.
Rivera is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas and the Tarrant County Bar Association. She is also a member of the State Bar College, which recognizes lawyers who earn at least double the continuing legal education credits required by the State Bar of Texas.
Rivera received her law degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law.
The ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division is the only ABA entity exclusively devoted to solo practitioners and small firm lawyers. The division, with over 27,000 members, serves as the voice of the “Main Street lawyer.” Solo and small firm practitioners represent half of the nation’s lawyers, and the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division provides a community for them within the ABA.