Two graduating students at the University of Texas School of Law have been selected to receive one-year postgraduate fellowships to help pilot the Texas Title Project, an innovative title-clearing project designed to provide low-income disaster survivors with the chance to move to higher opportunity neighborhoods.
The Texas Title Project is funded by the Texas General Land Office with federal funds designated to assist survivors of Hurricanes Dolly and Ike in relocating to higher-opportunity neighborhoods. The project is part of a larger coordinated hurricane recovery program that includes the participation of communities affected by the disasters, advocates for low-income survivors, and local, state, and federal agencies. The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law administers the project at the Law School.
The Texas Title Project Fellows will help to design a multifaceted and collaborative approach to help low-income homeowners clear the titles to their land and enable them to move to higher-opportunity areas that are less prone to future natural disasters and that provide a chance for a better future:
Amelia (Amy) Friedman will work in the Houston and East Texas areas with families recovering from Hurricane Ike. Friedman has demonstrated a commitment to public service throughout her career. She was a Public Service Scholar for the Justice Center and interned with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Weslaco and Texas Appleseed in Austin. She also served as administrative editor of the Texas Law Review.
Molly Lochridge Powers will work in the Rio Grande Valley with families recovering from Hurricane Dolly. In addition to her law degree, Powers will receive her MS in community and regional planning from the School of Architecture. Powers has participated in several innovative collaborations, including the Contract for Deed Prevalence study undertaken by the Justice Center in partnership with the LBJ School. She also served as editor in chief of the Texas Environmental Law Journal.
“The Justice Center is very excited to be able to offer this unique public service opportunity to these outstanding students,” said Frances Leos Martinez, director of the Texas Title Project. “The fellowship makes it possible for the graduates to help disaster victims create real hope and opportunity for their families and at the same time build their professional skills.”
Contact: Frances Leos Martinez, Director, Texas Title Project, University of Texas School of Law, 512-232-1222, firstname.lastname@example.org.