Law School students and alumni provide pro bono legal advice to wildfire victims

Law School students and alumni provided pro bono legal advice to victims of the recent wildfires in Central Texas. Hundreds of people in and near Bastrop, about thirty miles east of Austin, have lost their homes or experienced significant damages.

John Hay, '08, left, and his partner, J. Bradley Compere, of law firm Hay Compere PLLC, consult with a displaced resident at a free legal aid table in Bastrop on September 8, 2011.

Tina Fernandez, director of the Law School’s Pro Bono Program, said she was contacted by members of the Austin Bar Association and the Austin Young Lawyers Association about their need for volunteers to help staff legal clinics for victims of the Bastrop wildfires on September 6, 2011, and that the call was met with enthusiastic participation. Nearly twenty students expressed an interest in volunteering and students who attended the legal clinics assisted practicing lawyers—some of whom are UT Law alumni—as they met with Bastrop residents at aid centers set up at locations in and near Bastrop.

“UT Law students were incredibly responsive to this call to action,” Fernandez said. “I continue to be inspired and impressed by the enthusiasm of UT Law students for helping those in need.   In this particular situation, students from across the country volunteered to help Bastrop residents—an indication in my mind that they already consider Austin and Central Texas part of their community.”