On January 6–11, 2013, the Pro Bono Program will take thirty students as well as several faculty members to the Texas Rio Grande Valley during the second week of January.
This will be Pro Bono in January’s fourth year in the Valley. This year the Pro Bono Program is partnering with the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin to organize clinics in the San Juan area to assist pro se youth to petition for relief under the recently launched Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. At the clinics, students and volunteer attorneys will help high-school DACA petitioners (aka “DREAMers”) complete forms and compile documents to file with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Students will also work with attorneys from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the South Texas Civil Rights Project to staff wills clinics in Valley cities. Under the supervision of local attorneys, students will interview low-income property owners about their estate needs and help draft wills for them. Another small group will help the South Texas Civil Rights Project in Alamo assemble immigration petitions for women filing for legal residency under the Violence Against Women Act.
“The trip was a great way to apply doctrinal principles I learned in my first year courses,” said Aleza Remis, who participated in the January 2012 trip as a 1L. “It was really wonderful to take a step back from in-class coursework and get some hands-on legal experience by working with clients to draft a will and helping out at the Texas Civil Rights Project. The PB in J work was fulfilling, fun, and interesting, and the trip was a great way to meet and work with other law students.”
This is the Law School’s sixth winter break pro bono trip. The first two trips, organized by the Justice Center, sent law students and faculty to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi to help low-income residents in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Justice Center continues to provide financial and administrative support for the trips, which are organized by the Pro Bono Program.
About the Pro Bono Program:
The Pro Bono Program’s vision is that students at the University of Texas School of Law will engage in pro bono work to increase access to justice and develop a lifetime commitment to providing legal services to those in need. Launched in 2009, the Pro Bono Program is a project of the Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.
Contact: Tina Fernandez, Director, Pro Bono Program, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, 512-232-6170, firstname.lastname@example.org