Emani Brown, a second-year student at the University of Texas School of Law, is the 2023 recipient of the National Association of Women Judges’ Access to Justice Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually to a female student at the Law School who has demonstrated a sustained and passionate commitment to the achievement of equality of opportunity and access in the justice system.
Brown received the scholarship April 12 in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom during the annual “Color of Justice” program, the goal of which is to encourage minority high school and middle school students from the Austin area to consider law and the judiciary as career paths. Former Travis County Civil Court Judge Orlinda Naranjo presented the award. After receiving the award, Brown spoke to the students about her background growing up on the Texas border as the child of Mexican-American and Black-American parents, her decision to go to law school, and her plans to use her legal education to pursue public interest law. “I want to be an advocate for the Latinx and Black communities that raised me,” said Brown. “The best way for me to do this is to dedicate myself to providing legal services to low-income clients.”
At Texas Law, Brown is co-founder of the Gender Violence Law Caucus, submissions editor of the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy, a Public Service Scholar with the Justice Center, and a member of the Chicano and Hispanic Law Students Association and the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society. As a 1L, she participated in the Mithoff Pro Bono Program’s parole packet representation project. The summer after her 1L year, she worked with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s family law/domestic violence team in Austin. As a 2L, she was the Scott Ozmun Fellow at Volunteer Legal Services in Austin and participated in the Civil Rights Clinic. Next summer, she will work with the ACLU of Texas in Houston.
The program also included panels of judges and lawyers, who spoke to the middle and high school students about their work and their paths to the law. The 2023 Color of Justice event was cosponsored by the National Association of Women Judges and the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association and hosted by the Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law. Event supporters included Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, Jackson Walker, LLP, the Elissa I. Henry Law Firm, PLLC, and Luna Law, PLLC.