HOUSTON, May 4, 2023 – Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors of Communities In Schools of Houston, Inc. (“CIS of Houston”), the largest provider of campus-based counseling and support services to students throughout the Greater Houston Area, voted to approve Carina Antweil as the organization’s external pro bono General Counsel. Ms. Antweil is a partner at Baker Botts and Deputy Chair of the firm’s Houston Corporate Department.
Baker Botts has been a supporter of CIS of Houston for over 30 years, since Bill Kroger, another Baker Botts partner, volunteered to work with the organization to develop a legal internship program for at-risk high school students in the Houston area in 1992. That program recently celebrated its 31st year of providing paying summer jobs to over 800 Houston young adults, many of whom have worked at Baker Botts.
Ms. Antweil is the fifth Baker Botts lawyer over the years to serve as pro bono General Counsel of CIS of Houston. The first to serve in this role was Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, who was in the Baker Botts trial department for many years and now serves as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Baker Botts has also provided board-of-director services and financial support to CIS of Houston every year for the past 30 years. In 2021, CIS of Houston recognized Baker Botts during the National Celebration of Pro Bono Week for its “unrelenting commitment to supporting students and families in their time of need” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am delighted to join the great leadership team at Communities In Schools of Houston to help guide such a critical organization in our city. CIS of Houston provides vital on-campus support to students facing myriad challenges, including bullying, anxiety, mental health struggles, community violence and poverty, and I can think of no better cause than supporting the students and future leaders of our city,” said Ms. Antweil.
“The work of Communities In Schools of Houston would not be possible without the remarkable commitment of Baker Botts’ caring attorneys,” Lisa Descant, CIS of Houston CEO, said. “From cybersecurity and intellectual property to board governance to protection of student confidentiality, we’ve always been able to count on Baker Botts to advise and assist with any legal matter, which ultimately allows our dedicated student support specialists to focus on helping students and their families. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Baker Botts through Carina Antweil, who will be invaluable to our efforts,” continued Ms. Descant. “It’s an honor to welcome Carina to the team.”
About Communities In Schools of Houston
For 43 years, Communities In Schools of Houston (“CIS”) has empowered students, regardless of race, zip code, or socioeconomic background, to realize their potential in school and beyond. CIS places at least one full-time staff member on each partner campus (elementary, middle, high school and college) to deliver direct services, including academic support, and to connect students and families with needed community resources. CIS serves more than 160,000 students on 173 school campuses in six school districts and one college system across Greater Houston. Through its Mental Health Initiative, CIS is the largest provider of mental health services for schools in the Harris County area. During the 2021-2022 school year, CIS facilitated mental health services for more than 6,000 students across 94 CIS campuses. In addition to its on-campus Student Support Specialists, CIS collaborates with more than 300 community partners each year to help students see, confront, and overcome the barriers that stand between them and a brighter future. Along with partners, families, educators and other stakeholders, CIS builds an equitable path to education for future generations. CIS’s outcomes are impressive, with 96% of seniors graduating from high school and 99% of students staying in school.
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Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit bakerbotts.com.