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

Alex Stamm

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2017
Alex Stamm

First year student Alex Stamm, ’17, graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, where he received his degree in Plan II and Government, with a minor in Philosophy, and then worked for several years in Washington, D.C., at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as the assistant to the deputy legal director and as a paralegal for the ACLU’s National Prison Project. At Texas Law, he is a member of the Public Interest Law Association and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law's student advisory board. He participated in the Pro Bono Program's recent winter break trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley and has worked on a number of other pro bono projects, including Expunction Clinics, the Juvenile Lifers Project, and the Homestead Tax Deduction Valuation Project.

"Through the Equal Justice Scholarship, I've felt a part of the wonderful public interest community at Texas Law from day one. I'm grateful for the support I've received from that community, and for the opportunity to take an active role as a first-year student in the important work that students, professors, and local practitioners are doing."

- Alex Stamm, '17

Kelsey Chapple

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Equal Justice Scholar Class of 2016
Kelsey Chapple

Kelsey Chapple, ’16, is a second year student at Texas Law, where she is a member of the Texas Law Review, a Teaching Quizmaster, and a research assistant to Professor Cary Franklin, and is active in Law Students for Reproductive Justice and the Justice Center’s student advisory board. She has participated in the Civil Rights Clinic and the Pro Bono Program's 2014 winter break trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Last summer she interned with Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Litigation and Law Department in Washington, D.C.  Next summer she will intern for the American Civil Liberties Union Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, also in Washington.  Following graduation she will clerk for Judge Theodore McKee, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia.

"As soon as I arrived at Texas 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 third year at Texas Law. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Criminal Law and a research assistant for Professor Joseph Fishkin, and has been an active member of the Public Interest Law Association and the Justice Center's student advisory board. He has participated in the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic and Entrepreneurship/Community Development Clinic, as well as the Pro Bono Program's 2013 winter break trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley. During the summers he has interned with the Civil Litigation Division of the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles and the Washington Lawyers' Committee's Equal Employment Opportunity Project in Washington, D.C. Following graduation he will clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen W. Smith of the Southern District of Texas in Houston.

"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 graduated from Texas Law last May and is currently clerking for Judge Robert C. Chambers of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. At Texas Law, she was an active member of the Public Interest Law Association, OUTLaw, and the Justice Center's student advisory board, and was Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Environmental Law Journal and a Teaching Quizmaster.  She participated in the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic and the Environmental Clinic, as well as the Pro Bono Program’s winter break trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley.  During the summers, she interned with Earthjustice in Tallahassee, Florida, and Midwest Environmental Advocates in Madison, Wisconsin.

"My time at Texas Law exceeded my expectations in large part due to the support I received through the Equal Justice Scholarship.  Beyond financial assistance, the scholarship connected me to UT’s incredible network of public interest oriented advocates and scholars. I 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 graduated from Texas Law in May 2013 and clerked for Judge Gregg Costa, who was elevated during her clerkship from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She is now an attorney at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, where she promotes access to safe housing in underserved neighborhoods along the Texas Gulf Coast by addressing health and safety hazards from nearby industries, funded by a prestigious two-year Equal Justice Works fellowship. At Texas Law, Erin participated in the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic, the Entrepreneurship/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.  During the summers, she interned with the Farmers’ Legal Action Group in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and California Rural Legal Assistance in Salinas, California.

"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

After graduating from Texas Law in 2012, Jordan Pollock worked 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. She is currently the Immigration Specialist and an Assistant Public Defender for the Dallas County Public Defender's Office in Dallas.  At Texas Law, she was co-president of the Public Interest Law Association and was active in the Justice Center’s student advisory board.  She interned with American Gateways, working on U visas for immigrant victims of violent crimes, and participated in the Pro Bono Program’s winter break trip to the Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she worked with the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project.  She volunteered at the Equal Justice Center and was an advanced student in the Immigration Clinic. During the summers, she worked on immigrants’ rights litigation at the American Civil Liberties Union in Los Angeles and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle.

"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, is an attorney with the Migrant Farm Worker Division of Colorado Legal Services in Denver, Colorado.  Immediately after law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, and then worked as a staff attorney with Montana Legal Services.  At Texas Law, 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.  During the summers, he worked for Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans and The Bronx Defenders in New York.

"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 Texas 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

Following graduation, Kyle Marie Stock, '10, had a two-year Texas 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, and then worked as a Legislative Fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York. She is currently Model States Policy Manager for Raising Women's Voices, a national initiative working to ensure that women’s concerns are addressed as policymakers implement the Affordable Health Care Act. At Texas Law, Kyle 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 an active 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. During the summers, she worked with the Texas Civil Rights Project in San Juan, Texas, and the Texas Advocacy Project in Austin.

"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. At Texas Law, 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.  During the summers, she worked with the ACLU of Texas and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Austin. She also worked at the ACLU of Texas and the Texas Advocacy Project during the school year. 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

Following graduation, 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 Texas Law, 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. During the summers, she worked for TRLA in Edinburg and 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 Texas Law since Equal Justice scholars are able to serve on the Justice Center student advisory board."

- Amber VanSchuyver, '08

 

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