In celebration of National Pro Bono Week (October 21–27, 2012), the UT Law Pro Bono Program is pleased to announce that third-year student Megan Sheffield has been selected to serve as a Pro Bono Scholar for the 2012–2013 academic year. The Pro Bono Scholars Program provides scholarships to second- and third-year students who commit to working with the UT Law Pro Bono Program a minimum of three hundred hours during the academic year. The scholars plan and implement pro bono projects and conduct research and outreach that furthers the mission of the program.
The work of Community Development Clinic Director Heather Way and Lucille Wood, a Research Fellow in the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, was featured in a recent article in the Austin American-Statesman. The article examines the recent release of a report, coauthored by Way and Wood with Professor Peter Ward, C.B. Smith Sr. Centennial Chair in U.S.-Mexico Relations and Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, examining the use and prevalence of “contracts for deed”—informal transactions for property that often have interest rates of as high as twenty percent—in Texas from 1989 to 2010.
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.
In recognition of National Pro Bono Week (October 21–27, 2012), the UT Law Pro Bono Program celebrates law students’ volunteer efforts in underserved areas of Texas through Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s Rural Outreach Initiative. Over the 2011–2012 school year, fourteen students assisted TRLA with the project. This fall nine students have volunteered, and students will also have the opportunity to work on the project in the spring.
During the week of October 21–27, 2012, the UT Law Pro Bono Program will participate in the fourth annual nationwide celebration of pro bono service. Launched by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, the National Pro Bono Celebration focuses the nation’s attention on the increased need for pro bono services and celebrates the work of lawyers who volunteer their services throughout the year.
Professors William E. Forbath, Jordan M. Steiker, and Gerald Torres will discuss oral arguments, the case, and the possible implications of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
Professor Lino A. Graglia, A. W. Walker Centennial Chair in Law, has written two recent op-ed pieces discussing the issues at stake in the Supreme Court’s pending decision on Fisher v. University of Texas, a controversial case involving the use of race as a criterion in college admissions.
The University of Texas School of Law and Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs released a major report on low-income homeowners in Texas colonias and other informal housing settlements developed with limited infrastructure and poor housing conditions. Commissioned in August 2011 by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs at the request of the Texas Sunset Commission, the report will be discussed at a presentation on October 19, 2012, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the University of Texas School of Law, room TNH 3.127.
The Law School congratulates the members of the Class of 2013 who have been admitted to Chancellors, the Law School’s most prestigious honor society. Since 1912, Chancellors has recognized the law students who have achieved the highest grade point averages in their class through their second year of school.
Nikiya Natale, a third-year student at the University of Texas School of Law, has been selected to receive a Baron & Budd Public Interest Scholarship for the 2012–2013 academic year.