The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law

“That they may truly and impartially administer justice”

Equal Justice Scholarship Program

Meet the Equal Justice Scholars

Kelsey Chapple

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2016
Kelsey Chapple

First-year student Kelsey Chapple, ’16, graduated magna cum laude from Lewis and Clark College, where she majored in psychology and studio art, and worked as a team leader in the college’s behavioral health and social psychology lab. After graduating from college, she worked in Anchorage, Alaska, as a case manager at a mental health services clinic, as well as a voter engagement specialist for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and as a courthouse-based legal advocate for survivors of domestic violence. At the Law School she has been a 1L representative for Law Students for Reproductive Justice  and a member of the American Constitution Society, the Public Interest Law Association, and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law's student advisory board. She also participated in the Pro Bono Program's recent winter break trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley.

"As soon as I arrived at UT Law, the Equal Justice Scholarship allowed me to hit the ground running as an active member of the public service community. Not only was I instantly connected with a network of inspiring and accomplished public service advocates, but I was also able to start contributing to the public service community even as a first year student. Furthermore, the Equal Justice Scholarship enables me to follow my passion, unencumbered by a large law school debt."

- Kelsey Chapple, '16

 

Chris Larson

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2015
Chris Larson

Chris Larson, '15, is in his second year at the Law School. He has been an active member of the American Journal of Criminal Law, the Public Interest Law Association and the Justice Center's student advisory board, and participated in the Pro Bono Program's 2013 winter break trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Last summer he interned with the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles in the Civil Litigation Division. Next summer he will work for the Washington Lawyers' Committee's Equal Employment Opportunity Project.

"The Equal Justice Scholarship immediately plugged me into an unparalleled network of law students, professors, lawyers, and administrators who have proven to be an incredibly valuable source of support both academically and professionally.  I am honored to be a member of the public interest community at the University of Texas."

- Chris Larson, '15

 

Cassandra McCrae

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2014
Cassandra McCrae

Cassie McCrae, '14, is in her third year at the Law School.  She has been an active member of the Public Interest Law Association, OUTLaw, and the Justice Center's student advisory board, and she is the Editor in Chief of the Texas Environmental Law Journal.  She has participated in the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic and the Environmental Clinic. During her second year, she was a Teaching Quizmaster and participated in the Pro Bono Program’s winter break trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley.  The summer after her 1L year she interned with Earthjustice in Tallahassee, Florida, and she spent the past summer interning with Midwest Environmental Advocates in Madison, Wisconsin. Following graduation, she will serve as a law clerk to Judge Robert C. Chambers of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

"My time at UTLaw has exceeded my expectations in large part due to the support I have received through the Equal Justice Scholarship.  Beyond financial assistance, the scholarship has connected me to UT’s incredible network of public interest oriented advocates and scholars. I have found the support and advice of our public interest network to be an invaluable part of my education. This scholarship importantly reflects UT’s commitment to public interest work; a commitment I am honored to share."

- Cassandra McCrae, '14

Erin Gaines

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2013
Erin Gaines

Erin Gaines, ‘13, graduated last May and is currently a law clerk to Judge Gregg Costa of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. In law school, she participated in the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic, the Community Development Clinic, and the Environmental Clinic, and was an associate editor of the Texas Law Review, a Teaching Quizmaster, and president of the Public Interest Law Association, as well as an active participant in the Justice Center’s student advisory board. After her 1L year, she interned with the Farmers’ Legal Action Group in Saint Paul, Minnesota helping to provide legal services to minority and family farmers. The summer after her 2L year she worked on environmental justice and employment discrimination cases with California Rural Legal Assistance in Salinas, California. The summer after graduating, she worked at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Austin on environmental justice and fair housing cases. She is applying for postgraduate public interest fellowships to continue this work following her clerkship.

"Through the Equal Justice Scholarship, I was immediately welcomed by students, faculty, and staff dedicated to public interest law at UT. That community played an indispensable role my entire time in law school - inspiring, mentoring, and supporting me. In addition, the Equal Justice Scholarship offered me a rare opportunity to explore my passions and creatively envision my public service career unencumbered by a large debt."

- Erin Gaines, '13

Jordan Pollock

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2012
Jordan Pollock

Jordan Pollock, ‘12, is working at Public Counsel in Los Angeles to provide legal representation for detained immigrants who are victims of crimes, human trafficking, and spousal abuse, with funding from a prestigious two-year Equal Justice Works fellowship. In her first year at the Law School, she interned with American Gateways, working on U visas for immigrant victims of violent crimes and participated in the winter break pro bono trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she worked with the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project.  After her 1L year, she worked on immigrants’ rights litigation for the American Civil Liberties Union in Los Angeles.  During her 2L year she volunteered at the Equal Justice Center and was an advanced student in the Immigration Clinic. The summer following her 2L year she worked at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle. She was co-president of the Public Interest Law Association and was active in the Justice Center’s student advisory board.

"The Equal Justice Scholarship fundamentally shaped my law school experience.  It gave me a significant role in the constantly growing public interest community at UT and provided opportunities for me to meet advocates from across the country.  And it has let me move into a career in public service without the burden of substantial financial debt.  Moreover, the mentorship and guidance I received as an Equal Justice Scholar enriched my education immeasurably."

- Jordan Pollock, '12

 

Lawson Konvalinka

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2011
Lawson Konvalinka

Lawson Konvalinka, ‘11, clerked for U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, and is currently a staff attorney with Montana Legal Services.  After his 1L year, with the support of a UT Law-funded fellowship, he worked for the Orleans Public Defenders. After his 2L year he worked with The Bronx Defenders, a premiere indigent defense organization.  At the Law School, he was co-president of the Public Interest Law Association, a member of the Texas Law Review, and participated in the Immigration Clinic, Capital Punishment Clinic, and Housing Clinic.  As a member of the Justice Center’s student advisory board, he helped lead the Law School’s January 2009 pro bono trip to Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi and January 2010 trip the Texas Rio Grande Valley. 

"The Equal Justice Scholarship proved to be an invaluable benefit to my legal education. It allowed me to commit fully to a career in public interest law without the strain and worry that tend to accompany a large debt. In truth, however, I consider the economic benefits ancillary to the scholarship’s effect of instantly incorporating me into the public interest community of UT Law. Through my involvement with the William Wayne Justice Center I made connections that enhanced the enjoyment of my legal education and aided my career search. The university is becoming a leader in public interest law and this scholarship speaks volumes of its commitment to continue on that path."

- Lawson Konvalinka, '11

 

Kyle Marie Stock

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2010
Kyle Marie Stock

Kyle Marie Stock, '10, had a two-year UT Law postgraduate fellowship, which funded her work on women’s access to health care at the Southwest Women's Law Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She is currently a Legislative Fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York. She spent the summer after her 1L year with the Texas Civil Rights Project in San Juan, Texas.  The summer after her 2L year she worked for the Texas Advocacy Project in Austin, assisting victims of domestic violence, with a UT Law-funded fellowship.  At the Law School, Stock co- founded the University of Texas Chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. She participated in the Immigration Clinic and the Capital Punishment Clinic, was a member of the Justice Center’s student advisory board, and worked as a research assistant for the Law School’s Center for Women in Law.

"The Equal Justice Scholarship provided me an immediate connection to the public interest community at the Law School. The opportunity to serve on the Student Advisory Board of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law allowed me a voice in decisions regarding the development of the University of Texas as a leader in public interest law. The Equal Justice Scholarship also greatly lessened the financial concerns that would normally face a law student interested in pursuing a career in public interest law. I am grateful to be free to make career decisions without feeling the burden of large student loan debt."

- Kyle Marie Stock, '10

 

Jessica Cassidy

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2009
Jessica Cassidy

Jessica Cassidy, '09, was awarded a prestigious two-year Equal Justice Works fellowship to fund her work with victims of family violence. She is now an attorney with Texas Legal Services Center in Austin. She spent the summer after her 1L year at the ACLU of Texas and her second summer working with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Austin. She also worked at the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Advocacy Project during the school year. At the Law School, she participated in the Criminal Defense Clinic, Capital Punishment Clinic, and Domestic Violence Clinic, and was co-president of the Public Interest Law Association and co-treasurer of Texas Law Fellowships. She was an active member of the Justice Center's student advisory board and helped lead two student winter break trips to provide volunteer legal services in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region. In fall 2008 she received the Texas Access to Justice Commission's first Law Student Pro Bono Award based on her outstanding record of public interest work.

"The Equal Justice Scholarship really allowed me to keep my finger on the pulse of the public interest community at the Law School. It connected me to worthwhile events and interesting, committed people - students, lawyers, policy practitioners. Plus, it was a relief not worrying about tuition costs. The energy I would have otherwise wasted, worrying about making ends meet, I put to much more fruitful use - community service, student organizations, and my studies." 

- Jessica Cassidy, '09

Amber VanSchuyver

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2008
Amber VanSchuyver

Amber VanSchuyver, '08, was awarded a prestigious two-year Equal Justice Works fellowship to fund her work at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) in Edinburg, Texas, where she worked to help domestic violence victims obtain financial independence.  She is now an attorney and the Domestic Violence/Family Team Manager in the TRLA Edinburg office. At the Law School, she participated in the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic and Immigration Clinic, and was co-president of the Public Interest Law Association and managing editor of the Texas Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. She was an active member of the Justice Center’s student advisory board and helped lead a group of students on a winter break trip to provide volunteer legal services in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region. She spent the summer after her 1L year working for TRLA in Edinburg and her second summer working for Equal Rights Advocates in San Francisco.

"The Equal Justice Scholarship has been an enormous benefit for me financially. It greatly lessened the financial concerns that I had about seeking a career in public interest. By reducing my overall debt, the scholarship enables me to pursue a career that I am very passionate about. It is also a great opportunity to play a role in public interest activities at UT Law since Equal Justice scholars are able to serve on the Justice Center student advisory board."

- Amber VanSchuyver, '08

 

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