Gibbs & Bruns is special blend of extraordinarily talented people, a familial culture, and legacy of generosity that extends well beyond the walls of our beloved firm. The ability and, more importantly, the desire to give back is one of the most powerful attributes of our firm’s culture. Gibbs & Bruns lawyers are encouraged to support charitable, civic, and pro bono causes that are of personal interest and significance to our community and beyond.
For decades, the firm has participated in the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program where our lawyers handle a variety of matters for clients who might not otherwise have the means to afford legal assistance or representation. Over the years, our lawyers have also handled several prisoner cases under Section 1983. For such pro bono efforts, Gibbs & Bruns was twice-recognized as the recipient of the “Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Award” in the mid-size firm category, in 2009 and 2015.
Commitment to pro bono service is demonstrated at the most senior levels at the firm. For instance, firm partners currently serve as: pro bono general counsel to the Lutheran Bishop in this region (Kathy Patrick); past chair of the Houston Bar Foundation (Barrett Reasoner); and volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, an organization that assists medical patients in getting to specialized medical treatment facilities via privately-owned planes that they otherwise would not be able to get due to financial hardships (Scott Humphries). Associate Caitlin Halpern is Executive Director of the Rikers Debate Project. She founded the Project’s Houston Chapter in 2019 and has been honored by the American Bar Association for her efforts.
Robin Gibbs was awarded the prestigious Karen H. Susman Jurisprudence Award (2008) by The Anti-Defamation League Houston, an award presented to “an outstanding lawyer who exhibits a commitment to equality, justice and fairness, as well as community service.”
Additional pro bono efforts by our lawyers include: Veteran’s support clinics; Houston Bar Association (HBA) sponsored Will-a-Thons; immigration information sessions and preparation of guardianship papers for undocumented persons; HBA Legal Line support; and participation in the HBA’s Communities in Schools internship program where the firm hires and mentors a high school student from a disadvantaged community for a summer experience (the firm has supported this effort for over 20 years); associate Pete McDonald is chair of the HBA/CIS committee.
In late 2017, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the partnership made it a priority to provide a special gesture of financial assistance in the wake of the largest disaster Houston has ever experienced. The partners extended two gifts on behalf of the firm: $150,000 to Lone Star Legal Aid and $100,000 to the Houston Bar Foundation’s Hurricane Relief Fund. These donations were provided specifically so that the staff and volunteers of both organizations could continue the critical legal support and services they provide to the thousands of Houstonians in need of legal assistance. Gibbs & Bruns views its ability to give back to the City which sustained this firm’s prosperity and success for over 35 years as a dynamic gift.
Pro bono service is a natural extension of our firm’s commitment to excellence in service to our clients; our dedication to ethics and professionalism; and fostering of our unique familial and collegial culture.
Team Gibbs & Bruns
A collegial culture abounds at our firm. Whether running in the Child Advocates “Superhero” event, participating in the HBA’s annual John J. Eikenberg Law Week Run benefitting the The Center, or raising money in honor of a fellow partner to establish a medical research fund in his name at M.D. Anderson via participation in Ironman Brazil, it is hard to miss the community-minded spirit that exists within the Gibbs & Bruns family.