Eight graduates from the Class of 2023, along with a graduate from the Class of 2022, have received national postgraduate fellowships to work for the public good.
“These competitive national postgraduate fellowships honor our Texas Law graduates starting their public interest legal careers,” said Mary Murphy, public interest career counselor with the Career Services Office. “We are immeasurably proud to have them recognized for their impressive work and commitment to social justice.”
Oscar Alfaro Albarran ’23 has been awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship sponsored by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP to work with the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. He will provide legal services in English and Spanish to immigrants facing violence and will focus on obtaining protective orders, custody, divorce, and, ultimately, litigating international child abduction cases both in the U.S. and Mexico. At Texas Law, Oscar was a member of the Chicano/Hispanic/Latino Law Students Association and the International Human Rights Law Society; a research assistant for Professor William Forbath; and participated in the Immigration Clinic. He was part of the Texas Law–Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) joint degree program, which will allow him to practice in the U.S. and Mexico. At ITAM, he interned with the ITAM Center for Access to Justice, the Public Policy Clinic, and volunteered with the Public Interest Clinic Against Human Trafficking.
Molly Buckley ’23 has been awarded the Frank Stanton Legal Fellowship, funded by the Stanton Foundation, to work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in San Francisco. As a fellow, she will work on EFF’s active civil liberties docket, where she’ll support free expression online, defend digital privacy, and fight illegal government surveillance. At Texas Law, Molly was a National Security Law Fellow with the Strauss Center for International Security and Law, vice president of the Human Rights Law Society, and a staff editor of The Journal of Law and Technology at Texas. She worked in both the Civil Rights and Transnational Worker Rights Clinics and spent her summers with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Kirsten Budwine ’23 will join the Texas Civil Rights Project as a 2023-24 Manne Family Legal Fellow, where she will be working in the Criminal Injustice Program helping to prevent the harms of the criminal legal system by reducing over-policing and criminalization in Texas. At Texas Law, Kirsten served as a 1L coordinator for Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, a 2L Student Bar Association representative, and the Outreach Director for Law Students for Black Lives. She also participated in the Civil Rights, Capital Punishment, and Juvenile Justice clinics. She has clerked with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the Travis County Public Defender’s Office, and the Texas Civil Rights Project.
Alyssa K. Gordon ’22 will be a fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project focusing on expanding underutilized compassionate release laws in carceral settings to promote decarceration and help elderly incarcerated people secure release. At Texas Law, Alyssa co-founded and served as co-executive director of Law Students for Black Lives, was a staff editor of The Review of Litigation, parliamentarian of the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, membership director for the Southwest Region of the National Black Law Students Association, and a member of the William Wayne Justice Center’s Student Advisory Board. She also worked as a racial equity research fellow for the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, and as a student attorney with the Civil Rights Clinic. Alyssa currently serves as a law clerk to the Honorable Victoria A. Roberts with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Adarsh N. Parthasarathy ’23 will join the Texas Defender Service as a 2023-24 Manne Family Legal Fellow, where he will help to represent those implicated in Texas’ capital system in both pre- and post-conviction proceedings. At Texas Law, Adarsh was on the William Wayne Justice Center’s Student Advisory Board as a public service scholar, president of the Public Interest Law Association, executive editor of the Texas Journal of International Law and American Journal of Criminal Law, and a pro bono scholar for the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program Supported Decision-Making Project. He also participated in the Supreme Court and Capital Punishment Clinics. Adarsh interned for Disability Rights Texas, the Capital Habeas Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, and Sidley Austin LLP. He has earned nearly 1,500 pro bono hours in criminal defense, post-conviction, disability rights, and Title IX spaces.
Grace Wynelle Thomas ’23 will work as an Equal Justice Works Fellow with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in their Voting Rights Project, sponsored by Thomson Reuters and Shearman & Sterling LLP. During their fellowship, Grace will support eligible incarcerated voters by building power and voting access structures in jurisdictions without jail-based absentee ballot access through advocacy, coalition building, and impact litigation. At Texas Law, Grace participated in the Transnational Worker Rights and Housing Clinics and served as the president of Texas Law Fellowships and the editor-in-chief of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights. She was also an organizer of Getting Radical in the South (GRITS) and Texas Students for DEI, a member organizing voter registration and education drives with Law Students for Black Lives, and a pro bono scholar for the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program Expunction Project. During law school, Grace remained active in the Austin community by serving as the coordinator for Austin Justice Coalition’s Project Orange, a voter services program in the Travis County Correctional Complex, and the chair of the League of Women Voters–Austin Area’s First Vote, a high school voter education program reaching thousands of students every year. They interned for Campaign Legal Center, ACLU National Political Advocacy Department – Democracy Division, Fair Elections Center, and Texas Legal Services Center.
Kenna Titus ’23 has been selected as a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. She will be working at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) on the Reproductive Rights and Health Team in Washington, D.C., joining NWLC’s fight for gender justice through legal and policy advocacy targeted at defending and expanding equitable access to health care—including abortion and birth control—at the state and federal level. At Texas Law, Kenna worked at the Rapport Center for Human Rights as a Sissy Farenthold Scholar in Reproductive Justice. She also served as a board member for the 2022 Getting Radical in the South (GRITS) Conference, co-president of the American Constitution Society, and was an associate editor of Texas Law Review. Kenna dedicated many hours of legal work to the Texas Law Housing Clinic and various pro bono projects. During law school, she worked for the Texas Indigent Defense Commission in Austin, the NWLC’s Income Security Team in Washington, D.C., and with the Texas House of Representatives Parliamentarian’s Office.
Sally Vandenburg ’23 will work with Root & Rebound in Greenville, South Carolina as a Gallogly Family Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow. She will provide direct legal services to formerly incarcerated parents facing legal barriers to reentry, including housing and employment rights, custody and visitation issues, and child support modifications. At Texas Law, Sally served on the William Wayne Justice Center’s Student Advisory Board and as an executive board member of the Public Defense Group. She participated in the Immigration, Criminal Defense, and Housing Clinics. She has worked with Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, assisting attorneys in their representation of incarcerated people in New York state prisons; the New York County Defender Services; the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia in the Parole Division; and with The Bronx Defenders’ Civil Action Practice.
Blake Welborn ’23 will be working in the Harris County Attorney’s Office on civil environmental enforcement through the joint Justice Catalyst/Public Rights Project Fellowship. He will focus on pollution abatement and enforcement throughout Harris County. At Texas Law, Blake was a senior staff editor of the Texas Environmental Law Journal and a member of Texas Law Review. He also served as a pro bono scholar for the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program Expunction Project, a student attorney in the Environmental Clinic, and a dean’s fellow in the Society Program. He has previously worked with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.