Law School News

South Texas Professor Receives HBA Award for Extensive Pro Bono Service

Dr. Mark E. Steiner, professor of law at South Texas College of Law Houston, was honored for his dedicated pro bono service during the 2022 Houston Bar Association (HBA) Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards ceremony May 3 at Baker Botts L.L.P.

These awards recognize outstanding pro bono service through local legal service providers and encourage law firms, corporate legal departments and individual attorneys to volunteer direct legal services to low-income Harris County residents.

Dr. Steiner was lauded by Jennifer A. Halsey, president of the HBA, for volunteering to provide legal advice and counsel through Houston Volunteer Lawyers’ Friday Legal Advice Line. She also recognized his service as South Texas’s law school liaison to the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Board of Directors and his encouragement of law students to participate in pro bono activities.

“Professor Steiner demonstrates a steadfast commitment to the underserved of our community, and this is a well-deserved recognition,” said South Texas President and Dean Michael F. Barry. “His pro bono service is a perfect embodiment of the South Texas mission in action.”

Dr. Steiner has taught at STCL Houston full-time since 1995, focusing on American legal history, consumer law and immigration law. For the past 15 years, Dr. Steiner has devoted much of his downtime volunteering at workshops that help immigrants become citizens.

He regularly participates in Citizenship and Immigration workshops organized by NALEO Education Fund, BakerRipley and the Equal Justice Center, among other groups. He was the first recipient of the Mark Steiner Award for Immigration Altruism presented by BakerRipley, NALEO, City of Houston Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities, and Univision.

Dr. Steiner is a member of the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas, which recognizes attorneys who have far exceeded the State Bar’s aspirational pro bono goal in their efforts to address the vast unmet legal needs of the poor.

He has served three terms as a member of the council for the Consumer and Commercial Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and is the former chair of the Consumer Law Task Force of the HBA. He is a member of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society.

In 2017, Dr. Steiner was named as a “Hero of Houston” by Shell for his post-Harvey volunteer efforts. He has twice been selected as a Fulbright Scholar. His books Lincoln and Citizenship (2021) and An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln (2006) both were honored with Awards of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society.