Texas Law has awarded postgraduate public interest fellowships to three members of the class of 2023. Each fellow will receive funding through the Law School to support their first year of employment at a nonprofit organization.
“The Law School is proud to support these impressive students as they begin their careers serving the public,” said Eden Harrington, director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, which administers the fellowship programs. “We are very grateful to the generous supporters who helped create these fellowship opportunities for outstanding new lawyers.”
Allaena Cruz will receive the G. Rollie White Trust Fellowship in Public Interest Law, funded with support from the G. Rollie White Trust, to work with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s Housing Team in Austin. As a fellow, she will focus on enforcing the housing rights of low-income families by providing direct representation and advice. She will also work on outreach initiatives to further the housing rights of those who have experienced domestic and family violence.
At Texas Law, Cruz was a member of the Public Interest Law Association, Law Students for Black Lives, and the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and volunteered for a variety of pro bono projects. She participated in the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic, Capital Punishment Clinic, and Housing Clinic, and spent her summers working with TRLA’s Education Team in San Antonio and Texas Appleseed’s New Projects Team in Austin. As a 3L, she worked for TRLA as a Telephone Access to Justice Associate. Cruz first worked for TRLA as a volunteer on disaster recovery the fall semester of her sophomore year in college, an experience that inspired her to attend law school to become a legal aid attorney.
Jordan Phillips will receive a Justice Center Fellowship in Public Interest Law to work with the Public Rights Project, which is based in Oakland, California. The Public Rights Project focuses on state and local law offices—including city attorneys, district attorneys, and attorneys general—as underutilized drivers of rights enforcement. As a fellow, Phillips will work with state and government partners to identify and implement policies that protect reproductive rights.
At Texas Law, Phillips was staff editor of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights and treasurer of the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society. She participated in the Human Rights Clinic and spent a semester in practice interning with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, in Washington, D.C. She spent her summers working with the Special Victim’s Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office as a Fair and Just Prosecution Fellow, and the Affordable Housing and Community Development Division of Coats Rose, P.C., in Austin.
Danny Woodward will receive the Julius Glickman Fellowship in Public Interest Law, funded by Julius Glickman ’66, to work for RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) with its litigation team. His project will focus on pursuing redress for immigrant families separated in Texas under the former administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy.
At Texas Law, Woodward was a Human Rights Scholar with the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice and a Pro Bono Scholar with the Mithoff Program, supporting the parole packet representation and immigration projects. He participated in the Immigration Clinic and Supreme Court Clinic, and he spent his summers working with the litigation team at RAICES and with Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian in Austin.