Alumni Making an Impact: Texas Law’s First Gallogly Family Foundation Public Interest Law Fellows
Texas Law is fortunate to be included in the Gallogly Family Foundation’s Public Interest Law Fellowship program, which provides opportunities for new lawyers to gain experience in public interest work and to improve access to legal services. Gallogly Fellows work with nonprofit organizations on a project providing direct civil legal services to underrepresented individuals, including those living in poverty or those deprived of their civil or human rights.
Kelsey Chapple ’16, and Marissa Latta ‘18, the first Texas Law students to participate in the program, recently completed two-year Gallogly Fellowships. Taylor Loynd ’19, is well into her second fellowship year.
Kelsey Chapple ‘16
Chapple worked with Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles, providing direct representation, outreach, and education to female low-income workers. “During my fellowship, I helped Bet Tzedek expand its capacity to respond to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation abuses by developing trainings, creating screening tools, and managing a case load with an emphasis on those types of cases,” said Chapple. “In addition, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, I was able to help the team develop a weekly virtual clinic, expanding our capacity to address issues arising from the pandemic such as paid sick time abuses and unemployment insurance benefits cases, as well as create and distribute Know-Your-Rights presentations and materials to workers.”
Chapple will continue as a staff attorney with Bet Tzedek’s Employment Rights Project and credits the fellowship with helping her enter the field. “Before the fellowship, I had very limited experience in employment law, but the fellowship helped me gain the experience and perspective to understand the incredible impact enforcing employment rights can have in the lives of low-income workers, especially low-income women,” said Chapple. “I plan to continue doing this work for the foreseeable future.”
Chapple appreciated the Gallogly family’s support during her fellowship, particularly during the pandemic. “The Galloglys ask that all fellows provide a quarterly report, which became a great opportunity to take stock of my project’s impact project and the goals at every stage. They always responded with incredibly supportive and encouraging messages. In addition, when the pandemic hit, they checked in with the fellows to ask about our well-being,” said Chapple. “Though it was not originally part of my project proposal, the Galloglys never hesitated in their support for my work when I adapted to respond to the crisis. The Gallogly Fellowship was critical to Bet Tzedek’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the devastating impact on the low-income workforce in Los Angeles County.”
Marissa Latta ‘18
Latta worked at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Austin, representing individuals who were denied apartments based on their criminal history. She helped clients appeal their denials and obtain housing for themselves and their families, which helped them achieve stability and a safe place to call their own. She was also able to have a broader impact through work with the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable. “The Roundtable has been able to increase the protections for tenants and applicants in affordable housing developments that are funded through the City of Austin,” said Latta. “Thousands more tenants and applicants will benefit from these protections as a result of the Roundtable’s efforts, which I am proud to have been a part of through my fellowship.”
Latta plans to continue working as a housing attorney at TRLA. “The fellowship confirmed that I love direct legal services, and that I want to spend my career working with individual clients on issues that deeply affect their lives. I am so thankful for the opportunity to get to do this work as a young lawyer at a supportive organization like TRLA, and I hope to continue to practice in this area for many years to come,” she said.
Latta also expressed gratitude for the support she received from the Gallogly family, particularly from Kasey Gallogly DeLuke, Executive Director of the Gallogly Family Foundation. “Kasey provided helpful feedback on my quarterly reports and offered encouragement and perspective on other fellows’ experiences,” said Latta. “I really appreciated how genuinely the Galloglys cared about their fellows, and how understanding they were about the realities of legal projects.”
Taylor Loynd ‘19
Loynd works with the Georgia Legal Services Program in Atlanta, where she advocates for students to receive behavioral and mental health services in school to prevent them from being unfairly referred to juvenile court. “I represent students in school discipline and special education procedures, many of whom are already court-involved. I work closely with each student’s public defender to explain the relationship between the behavior incident that resulted in the delinquency charge and the failings of the school, as well explain how my education representation will improve the special education services being provided to the student,” said Taylor. “The public defenders are then able to provide a holistic view of the student’s situation to the juvenile court judges. All of the students I have worked with have either had their charges dismissed or been released from probation early. The fellowship has allowed me to expand the reach of GLSP’s services to families they likely wouldn’t have been able to serve without the support of the Gallogly Family Foundation.”
Loynd also appreciates the support she receives from the Gallogly family. “Each fellow submits a report to Kasey Gallogly and the rest of the fellows with updates about our work. I always make a point to read everyone’s updates so I can learn more about other areas of the law and find motivation from reading about others’ victories. We also just had our first Zoom meeting with current and past fellows in December, which I hope will continue,” said Loynd.
And More to Come
Allison Wright and Elena Thompson, both 2020 graduates, recently started Gallogly Fellowships, Wright with the Equal Justice Center in Austin, and Thompson with the ACLU of Ohio. Jess Hallam ’21, and Kelly Hogue ’20, have been selected for fellowships that will start in fall 2021. Hallam will work with the Neighborhood Defender Service in Harlem, New York. Hogue will work with TRLA in East San Antonio.