Justice Center alumnus Lawson Konvalinka, ’11, recently returned to Texas Law as the public interest and public defense career counselor in the Career Services Office. He brings a wealth of experience in the field. After graduating from Texas Law, Konvalinka served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew S. Hanen, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas in Brownsville, and then worked in Billings, Montana for Montana Legal Services Association, in the Foreclosure Assistance Program, and in Denver for Colorado Legal Services, in the Migrant Farm Workers Division. Most recently, he was a lawyer in Chattanooga, Tennessee at Grant Konvalinka & Harrison, P.C. While at Texas Law, Konvalinka participated in the Capital Punishment, Immigration, and Housing clinics. He was a member of the Texas Law Review, served on the Justice Center student advisory board, and was as co-president of the Public Interest Law Association. He spent his summers working for the Bronx Defenders in New York and the Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans.
Konvalinka steps into the shoes of Nicole Simmons, ’07, the long-time director of public service programs in the CSO, who has moved into a new position with the CSO as director of professional development. In her previous role, Simmons was an innovative counselor in the public service area, creating programs to advise students about planning for postgraduate fellowships, working in public defense, managing debt and obtaining public service loan forgiveness, and understanding public interest organizations and government agencies. Simmons serves on the board of directors of Volunteer Lawyers of Central Texas, and traveled with law students to Gulf Port, Mississippi on one of the first Texas Law winter break pro bono service trips. Konvalinka was student organizer of the 2009 and 2010 trips to Mississippi.
“The Justice Center and innumerable law students are indebted to Nicole Simmons for her leadership and commitment to public service, and we are very glad that she is continuing to work with students in her new position at the law school,” said Eden Harrington, director of the Justice Center. “We’re also excited that Lawson Konvalinka has rejoined the law school and we look forward to working closely with him to support our students and public interest work.”