Diane P. Couchman Receives Frank J. Scurlock Award

(Dallas, Texas) - Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. announced today that Diane P. Couchman, senior counsel in the litigation practice group and pro bono coordinator in Dallas, has received the Frank J. Scurlock Award from the State Bar of Texas. The award, given annually to the individual who has done the most in the past year to provide voluntary legal services to the poor and to encourage pro bono activity, was presented during the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

Ms. Couchman stated, “I may be getting this award, but the truth is that the many lawyers in the Dallas office of Akin Gump who willingly and enthusiastically provide legal services to the poor are the reason I am receiving this award.”

Ms. Couchman credits Akin Gump for encouraging its lawyers to become involved in pro bono activities. She also credits the excellent support that pro bono lawyers receive from the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, which is a joint program of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Services of North Texas to provide free legal services to the low-income community in Dallas County.

Ms. Couchman works with the firm’s lawyers and summer associates to participate in at least two DVAP neighborhood clinics during the summer, and Akin Gump participates in at least two additional DVAP neighborhood clinics per year. Akin Gump also sponsors the Landlord-Tenant Workshop once a month at the Housing Crisis Center.

Ms. Couchman believes that it is important for Akin Gump lawyers to get involved in the community and give back. She stated, “I handle pro bono matters for three main reasons: to help people in the community, to become a better lawyer and to practice in areas of the law that differ from my normal areas of practice.”

In September 1999 the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program presented Ms. Couchman with the Attorney of the Year award for her outstanding pro bono efforts. At that time, the program named Akin Gump “Law Firm of the Year” for its significant donation of more than 4000 hours.

Ms. Couchman received her B.A. in 1966 from Occidental College and her J.D. in 1991 from the Southern Methodist University School of Law. She has been actively involved in pro bono work since first joining Akin Gump.

Founded in 1945, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., a leading international law firm, numbers 900 lawyers with offices in Austin, Brussels, Dallas, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, Riyadh (affiliate), San Antonio and Washington. The firm has a diversified practice and represents regional, national and international clients in a wide range of areas, including antitrust; banking and financial institutions; bankruptcy, reorganization and creditors’ rights; capital markets; communications; corporate and securities; employee benefits; energy; entertainment; environmental; estate planning, wealth transfer and probate; government contracts; health; insurance; intellectual property; international; investment management; labor and employment; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; privatization; project finance; public law and policy; real estate and finance; taxation; and technology. For additional information, please visit our Web site at http://www.akingump.com.