Five Students Awarded 2018 Texas Law Postgraduate Fellowships

The University of Texas School of Law has awarded postgraduate fellowships to five graduating students. Each fellow will receive funding through the Law School to support their first year of employment at a nonprofit or public defense organization.  “The Law School is delighted to be able to help launch the careers of these outstanding new lawyers,” said Eden Harrington, director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.  “We thank the generous donors who are joining with us to support public service and increase the capacity of organizations assisting the underserved.”  The Justice Center administers the postgraduate fellowship program.

Wesley Hartman will receive the Julius Glickman Fellowship in Public Interest Law, funded by generous support from Julius Glickman ’66, to work for Texas Legal Services Center’s People’s Community Clinic Medical-Legal Partnership in Austin. Hartman’s project will focus on addressing the health-related legal needs of the LGBTQ community. At Texas Law, Hartman served as a Mithoff Pro Bono Scholar, leading the Expunction Project as a 2L and the disability law INCLUDE Project as a 3L; participated in the Civil Rights Clinic and the Mental Health Clinic; and interned with Disability Rights Texas in Austin and Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services in Washington, D.C.

Loraine Hoane will receive the G. Rollie White Trust Fellowship in Public Interest Law, funded by generous support from the G. Rollie White Trust, to work with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Austin. Her project will focus on ensuring that low-income Texans have access to clean, safe drinking water under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. At Texas Law, Hoane was a member of the Environmental Law Society and participated in the Environmental Clinic. She interned with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Austin and Earthjustice in Denver.

Sarah Mae Jennings, ’18

Sarah Mae Jennings will receive the Texas Law Gideon’s Promise Fellowship through the Law School’s partnership with Gideon’s Promise, a nonprofit that works to reform indigent defense through training and support of public defenders. Gideon’s Promise helps law school graduates secure public defender positions and provides them with three years of intensive training. Jennings will work for Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans. At Texas Law, Jennings was a Mithoff Pro Bono Scholar, co-leading the Expunction Project as a 2L and developing a new Driver’s License Reclamation Project as a 3L. She participated in the Capital Punishment Clinic, the Criminal Defense Clinic, the Civil Rights Clinic and the Immigration Clinic, and interned with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and Orleans Public Defenders.

Two graduates will receive Justice Center Fellowships in Public Interest Law:

Jessica Cisneros will work with Brooklyn Defender Services’ New York Immigrant Family Unity Project team. In addition to representing clients in removal defense cases, she will assist clients facing deportation orders. At Texas Law, Cisneros served as a Mithoff Pro Bono Scholar, focusing on immigration related projects, and participated in the Immigration Clinic and the Criminal Defense Clinic. She interned with the Equal Justice Center in Austin; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in San Antonio; and the Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, where she handled immigration cases.

Elizabeth Schmelzel, ’18

Elizabeth Schmelzel will work with Ayuda in Washington, D.C., on a project to address fraud by “notario publicos” through education and direct representation. At Texas Law, Schmelzel served as a Rapoport Human Rights Scholar and a Mithoff Pro Bono Scholar on the Expunction Project. She participated in the Immigration Clinic, the Capital Punishment Clinic, and the Juvenile Justice Clinic. She interned with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia; American Gateways in Austin; and Bail for Immigration Detainees in London.