"My advice to students interested in public interest law is to start early. The public interest law community is a tightly knit group so take advantage of the mentor directory during your 1L year. Talking to former students who are now public interest attorneys is a great way to forge new relationships and create opportunities. I would also encourage all students, regardless of whether they want to practice public interest law, to take a clinic. It is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on legal training while working with some of the best legal minds in the country."
Stephanie Taylor is an immigration attorney in private practice in Austin. Immediately after graduating from law school, she was awarded the Texas Law Justice Corps Julius Glickman Fellowship in Public Interest Law to work for two years with American Gateways in Austin, a local non-profit that provides free and low-cost legal services for immigrants and refugees. As a fellow, Stephanie worked to address the consequences of criminal convictions in the immigration context. At the end of her fellowship, Stephanie stayed on at American Gateways as a staff attorney working on detention issues at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center.
At Texas Law, Stephanie worked as an advanced student in the Immigration Clinic, participated in the Criminal Defense Clinic and the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic, and was co-president of the Public Interest Law Association and a Public Service Scholar with the Justice Center. During her law school summers, she worked in Boston with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and for the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project in Harlingen.