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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Clinic with The Equal Justice Center

The Project 
DACA Clinic
The Equal Justice Center will host a clinic to assist pro se petitioners in applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Law students will interview the pro se DACA petitioners (aka “DREAMers”) and assist them with filling out forms and compiling documents to be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  The clinic will take place in Cameron, TX, approximately 70 miles from Austin.  Students will be reimbursed for gas expenses if they are willing to carpool with at least one other student.

The Organization
Equal Justice Center 
The Equal Justice Centers’ mission is to empower low-income workers, families, and communities to achieve fair treatment in the workplace and in the justice system – regardless of immigration status.
Number of student volunteers requested: 15
Clinic will he held:  Saturday April 12, 10am-4pm 
Approximate hours of work requested: 6
Training: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm, TNH 2.140.  Training is required unless you have participated in two prior DACA Clinics.

Project Location:  All Saints Episcopal Church, 200 N. Travis Ave. Cameron, Texas 76250

Required Skills
Language: Spanish helpful but not required
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM
To apply: Submit email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


School-to-Prison Pipeline Project: Expunction Clinic
UT Law Pro Bono Program
727 East Dean Keeton Street Austin, Texas 78705
(512) 736-0525

The Project
Expunction Clinic
Student volunteers will assist attorneys in helping young people determine eligibility and prepare paperwork to file petitions to expunge criminal records. 

Expunging records allows people to legally deny offenses and erases records from criminal histories, mitigating future harms stemming from low-level juvenile offenses.  Unfortunately, very few people take advantage of their right to expunge records, due to the high cost of legal assistance and the complexity of the necessary paperwork.

The Organization
School-to-Prison Pipeline Project at the William Wayne Justice Center at UT Law

The School-to-Prison Pipeline Project combats the school-to-prison pipeline, whereby children with disciplinary issues are funneled out of schools and into the juvenile justice system.  The project addresses the pipeline at various stages, with a Youth Court working to prevent local middle school students from involvement in the pipeline, direct representation for students suspended, expelled, or ticketed in schools, and expunction of criminal records. 

Number of student volunteers requested:  15 for intake clinic, 10 for document preparation clinic

Project Dates: Students may participate in one or both clinics.

Intake Clinic: Tuesday, March 25, 6-8 
Document Preparation Clinic: Tuesday, April 1, 6-8 

Training Dates: Students should attend the training relevant to the clinic they plan to attend.

Intake Training, Monday, March 24th from 5:30-6:30
Document Preparation Training, Monday, March 31st from 5:30-6:30

Approximate hours of work requested: 3-5 hours                                                                                                                                                                                          
Project location: Austin, TX –further details to follow
Skills students will use: Document preparation; client interviewing; community education/outreach
Required skills: Spanish helpful but not necessary
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM
To apply: Submit email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


Citizenship Drive
In partnership with NALEO Education Fund and Casa Marianella
821 Gunter St, Austin, TX 78702
(512) 471-5151

The Project
Citizenship Drive
Student volunteers will assist attorneys in helping qualifying individuals to complete paperwork necessary for their application for United States citizenship.

The Organizations
Casa Marianella
Casa Marianella Immigration Legal Services (CMILS) serves immigrants, including asylum-seekers, asylees, and victims of crime in Austin, Texas in understanding their rights and the services available to them. CMILS has, to date, served over 500 clients from around the world as they navigate the often confusing and complicated U.S. immigration laws.  CMILS assists residents of Casa Marianella and its women and children’s shelter, Posada Esperanza, in applying for work permits, renewing green cards, seeking asylum, petitioning for family members, preparing applications for U Visas, T Visas and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and more.  CMILS staff work closely with Casa Marianella and Posada Esperanza staff as well as other immigrant legal service providers to provide quality legal representation to immigrants living below the poverty line.

NALEO Educational Fund
The NALEO Educational Fund’s mission is to integrate Latinos fully into American political society, provide professional development opportunities and technical assistance to the nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials, and monitor and conduct advocacy on issues important to the Latino community and our political participation.

Number of student volunteers requested:  20
Project start date: April 5, 2014, 8:00am-4:00pm

Approximate hours of work requested: 4 hours; students can choose one or both of the following shifts:
8:00am-12:00pm or 12:00-4:00pm

Training: We will offer two training dates.  Students are required to attend only one training.
Trainings are Wednesday April 2, 5:30-7:00pm in room JON 5.206 and Thursday April 3, 5:30-7:00pm in room TNH 2.140.

Project location: Travis High School, 1211 E. Oltorf, Austin TX 78704

Skills students will use:
Document preparation; client interviewing; community education/outreach

Required skills:
Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM
To apply: Submit email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Immigration Intake Clinic with the Equal Justice Center
510 S. Congress, Ste. 206, Austin, TX 78704
http://equaljusticecenter.org/

The Project
DACA Intake
The Equal Justice Center will host a client clinic to screen pro se petitioners (aka “DREAMers”) applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  The clinic will take place in Cameron, TX, approximately 70 miles from Austin.  Students will be reimbursed for gas expenses if they are willing to carpool with at least one other student.  This is in preparation for the Saturday April 12th DACA Clinic in Cameron, TX.

The Organization
Equal Justice Center
The Equal Justice Centers’ mission is to empower low-income workers, families, and communities to achieve fair treatment in the workplace and in the justice system – regardless of immigration status.
Number of student volunteers requested: 5
Project start date: Saturday March 8, 10am-4pm

Approximate hours of work requested: 6

Training: A one-hour training will be held Wednesday, March 5th at 5:30 pm in the WWJC Conference Room.

Project Location: All Saints Episcopal Church, 200 N. Travis Ave. Cameron, Texas 76250 (73 miles from Austin)

Skills Students Will Use: Client interviewing, issue spotting

Required Skills
Language: Spanish helpful
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To sign up:  Send an email to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu.

 


 

Catholic Charities of Central Texas
1625 Rutherford Lane, Austin TX 
www.ccctx.org/service_ils.php

The Project
U-VISA Assistance
Students will work with immigrant survivors of crime to complete applications for legal status in the United States by submitting applications for U Visas. This project will require students to work directly with clients and their families to document the crimes they have suffered. This will require writing declarations, obtaining evidence, and obtaining documentation of positive factors in the clients' lives in the United States. In addition, students will write a brief letter explaining the legal arguments for clients' eligibility for the U Visa. By the end of the project, students will compile and submit a completed application for U Visa status to US Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of their clients.

The Organization
Catholic Charities of Central Texas
Since 2002, Immigration Legal Services (ILS) of Catholic Charities of Central Texas has provided affordable legal consultations, representation, and assistance in Central Texas to low-income immigrants of all cultural and religious backgrounds. Our experienced staff guides clients through the complex immigration process in order to obtain immigration benefits for qualified individuals, to reunite families and to promote awareness of current immigration topics.

Number of student volunteers requested:  7-10
Project start date: Spring 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: 30-40 hours total over the course of spring semester

Training: A one-hour training will be held Wednesday, February 26, 5:30pm – 6:30pm.  The Goodwin Conference Room (CCJ 1.312)

Project location: From home & the Catholic Charities office (1625 Rutherford Lane,  Austin, Texas 78754)

Skills students will use:
Document preparation/review; client interviewing

Required skills:
Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Rural Outreach Initiative, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
www.trla.org/

The Project
The Rural Outreach Initiative
Participants of the Rural Outreach Initiative (ROI) will travel with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) staff to visit and assess the unique needs of underserved rural communities within TRLA’s service area where TRLA lacks a physical presence. The objective of the ROI is to establish contacts and pursue legal remedies for systemic problems affecting entire or significant parts of communities.
This Spring TRLA will visit the communities of Pearsall, Pleasanton, Edna, and Hondo, TX. Students and TRLA staff will identify legal issues affecting low-income residents in each area. TRLA staff and students will invite residents and local leaders to a community meeting to discuss common concerns. Students will help TRLA attorneys in leading a community dialogue and doing legal intake at a community meeting. If TRLA decides to pursue cases as a result of these trips, students are invited to continue working on these cases, although there is no obligation to do so. All travel expenses will be covered by TRLA and the UT Law Pro Bono Program.

The Organization
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety, and stability of low-income Texans by providing free high-quality civil legal assistance and related educational services. TRLA serves clients under six broad practice groups: Housing, Family, Economic and Social Justice, Individual Rights, Public Benefits, and Labor and Employment.

Number of student volunteers requested: 4 students per location

Approximate hours of work requested: One overnight trip to each location with the possibility of a second if a student is interested and available. Prior to each trip, students may also help identify and contact community leaders, as well as identify systemic community problems. Prior to each community meeting, students will meet with TRLA staff for an introduction to TRLA, the rural outreach project, training, and to discuss required tasks. Students will also be expected to conduct limited independent research to prepare for each community meeting.  

Community Meeting Dates:
Please note: Students should plan to arrive by 1:30 pm to the designated location. Students who would like to have lunch with attorneys should plan to arrive by noon.

Pearsall, Texas: (136 miles from Austin)
Dates: Friday February 21 to Saturday February 22, 2014

Pleasanton, Texas: (112 miles from Austin)
Dates: Friday March 7 to Saturday March 8, 2014

Edna, Texas: (133 miles from Austin)
Dates: Friday April 4 to Saturday April 5, 2014

Hondo, Texas: (122 miles from Austin)
Dates: Friday April 11 to Saturday April 12, 2014

Required Skills:  All languages welcome; Spanish speakers especially encouraged.  Students with access to a vehicle or the ability to drive a rental car also encouraged. All travel costs will be reimbursed.

To Apply:  Complete the attached ROI application and submit it to probono@law.utexas.edu by noon on the Tuesday before your preferred trip date.

Note:  Please indicate on your application whether you have class on Fridays.

 


 

Travis County Law Library
314 West 11th Street, Suite 140, Austin, Texas  78701
www.traviscountylawlibrary.org

The Project
Assist Self-Represented Family Law Litigants
Under the supervision of an attorney, law students will assist self-represented family law litigants at the Travis County Law Library by:

  • providing litigants with basic information but not advice about the law and court procedures,
  • helping litigants with agreed or uncontested cases complete appropriate family law forms,
  • referring litigants to other community resources.

Law students will also have a chance to assist litigants at the court's daily uncontested docket and interact with various District Judges.

The Organization
Travis County Law Library
In 2002, to address the ever-growing justice gap, the Travis County Law Library created a Self-Help Center to help self-represented family law litigants access the courts by providing: 1) legal information, forms, and referrals, 2) free appointments with a reference attorney in agreed or uncontested family law cases, and 3) a reference attorney at the court’s twice daily uncontested docket who reviews the court file, pleadings and proposed orders of all self-represented litigants. The Travis County Self-Help Center was the first self-help center in Texas and continues to be at the forefront of efforts to assist self-represented litigants access the courts.
Number of student volunteers requested:  1-2
Project start: Spring Semester

Approximate hours of work requested: Eight hours per week; schedule to be finalized with supervising attorney

Training: On site.

Project location: Travis County Law Library, 314 West 11th Street. Building is on City of Austin bus route.

Skills students will use:
Interviewing, problem analysis, document preparation/review

Required skills:
Language: Spanish helpful, but not required.
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L
To apply: Submit email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Work Authorization Clinic for Asylum Applicants with Casa Marianella Immigration Legal Services
727 East Dean Keeton Street Austin, Texas 78705
(512) 471-5151

The Project
Casa Marianella Immigration Legal Services (CMILS) is hosting a morning clinic to assist asylum applicants in taking advantage of a newly available lodging method. Law students will interview asylum seekers and assist them with filling out their asylum applications.  These applications will then be lodged with the immigration-court clerk.  This "lodging" process allows the clock to start ticking on work-authorization eligibility, allowing asylum seekers to work legally in the United States while their asylum applications are pending.

 

The Organization
Casa Marianella Immigration Legal Services (CMILS) serves immigrants, asylum-seekers, asylees, and female victims of crime in Austin, Texas in understanding their rights and the services available to them. CMILS has, to date, served over 500 clients from around the world as they navigate the often confusing and complicated U.S. immigration laws.  CMILS assists Posada Esperanza and other shelter residents in applying for work permits, renewing green cards, seeking asylum, petitioning for family members, preparing applications for U Visas, and more.  CMILS staff work closely with Casa Marianella and Posada staff as well as other immigrant legal service providers to provide quality legal representation to immigrants, both newly arrived and those living below the poverty line.

Number of student volunteers requested: 20

Date and Time:  February 22, 2014;  9:00a-12:00p

Approximate hours of work requested: 3 hours

Training: 30 minutes (occurs on site from 9:00a-9:30a on the day of the activity)

Work will be performed:  828 Gunter St., Austin, Texas 78702

Required Skills
Language: Spanish, French, or Nepali helpful but not required
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To sign up:  Send an email to Rebecca Ojeda at r.ojeda@utexas.edu, and let her know if you are interested in participating.

Questions: Contact Elise Harriger, attorney at CMILS, at eharriger@casamarianella.org.

 


 

Austin Veterans Free Legal Advice Clinic

The Project
Austin Veterans Free Legal Advice Clinic
Law students will shadow experienced attorneys as they provide legal advice and lead veterans to local resources if further action is needed.  Law students will also assist with check-in.

The Organization
Austin Bar Association
The Austin Bar Association was founded in 1893 as a nonprofit professional organization for attorneys.  Its mission is to promote professionalism and camaraderie with the legal community, to aid in the administration of justice, to enhance the delivery of and access to quality legal services, to educate the public about the legal system, and to actively participate in the success of the community at large.

Number of student volunteers requested: 6-8

Project Start: Monday February 10, 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: Two shifts are available: 12:45pm-2:30pm, and 2:30pm-4pm

Project Location: Austin VA Outpatient Clinic, 7901 Metropolis Dr.  Accessible via public transit.

Skills students will use:
Interviewing, problem analysis, document preparation/review

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Asylum Project with American Gateways
314 East Highland Mall Boulevard, Suite 501, Austin, TX 78752 
http://www.americangateways.org/

The Project
Asylum Project
Through the asylum project, students will assist American Gateways Pro Bono Attorneys in preparing asylum cases.  Asylum is available to immigrants who have fled their home countries because of persecution and/or torture due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
The Organization
American Gateways
American Gateways is a non-profit organization that provides free and low-cost direct representation immigration legal services to low-income immigrants in Central Texas. American Gateways works with pro bono attorneys in the community to bring high quality legal services to individuals who cannot afford private attorneys.
Number of student volunteers requested:  5 
Project start date: Spring Semester

Approximate hours of work requested: Students should expect to spend between 30-60 hours totalon the asylum process, spanning between 2-8 months, depending on the case.  Students will meet periodically with their supervising attorney during this time. 

Training: 1.5 hour training on February 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm in CCJ 1.324 Conference Room

Project Location: Virtually or in pro bono attorney’s office.  Accessible via public transportation.

Skills students will use: Legal research, draft legal briefs/motions, conduct country condition research, possible assist in attorney-client appointments and observe attorneys at court.

Required Skills:
Language: None required; Foreign language skills a plus
Class year preference: 2L, 3L

Desired course or clinic experience: Immigration coursework beneficial but not necessary.

To apply:  Submit resume to ahill@law.utexas.edu.

 


 

County Jail Lawsuit Research Project with Texas Jail Project
1712 E. Riverside Drive, Box 190 Austin, Texas 78741
http://www.texasjailproject.org/
The Project
County Jail Lawsuit Research Project
Students will research and compile a list of lawsuits against county jails in the past two years, with a breakout analysis of lawsuits based on medical neglect. Students will also research the circumstances under which county jails may disclose complaints that have been filed against those jails and with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, with a focus on defining what is restricted by HIPPA regulations.

The Organization
Texas Jail Project 
The mission of Texas Jail Project (TJP) is to communicate information and ideas about the county jails of Texas in an effort to improve treatment of prisoners and reduce the rate of incarceration. Our unique role is as an advocacy group focused on the needs of prisoners in county jails–who are mostly economically disadvantaged, people of color, and people with mental and physical disabilities.

Number of student volunteers requested:  2
Project start date: January 27, 2014
Project end date: May 9, 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: 10

Training: To be determined between supervisor and student

Project location: May be done virtually or in office.

Skills students will use:
Legal research and writing

Required skills:
Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary
Class year preference: 2L, 3L

To apply:  Send email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

County Medical Providers Research Project with Texas Jail Project
1712 E. Riverside Drive, Box 190 Austin, Texas 78741
http://www.texasjailproject.org/
The Project
County Medical Providers Research Project 
Students will research the list of formularies from each county medical provider to determine what medicines each will and won't provide the people incarcerated in their jails. Background: the efforts to save money and a lack of understanding of psychotropic meds have led many jails to arbitrarily deny drugs or switch medication types. Sometimes they also fail to provide critically needed prescriptions for insulin, heart, and blood pressure medicines. There is no oversight of medical practice or formularies; numerous deaths and suicides occur. Students, after determining who has the information, will need to submit freedom of information requests to the counties; some will likely not cooperate in which case, the Attorney General may need to become involved.

The Organization
Texas Jail Project 
The mission of Texas Jail Project (TJP) is to communicate information and ideas about the county jails of Texas in an effort to improve treatment of prisoners and reduce the rate of incarceration. Our unique role is as an advocacy group focused on the needs of prisoners in county jails–who are mostly economically disadvantaged, people of color, and people with mental and physical disabilities.

Number of student volunteers requested:  3
Project start date: January 24, 2014
Project end date: May 2, 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: 10

Training: There will be a one-hour County Jails 101 training, time and date to be determined by supervisor

Project location: May be done virtually or in office.

Skills students will use:
Legal research and writing

Required skills:
Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary.
Class year preference: 2L, 3L

To apply:  Send email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Youth Court
727 E. Dean Keeton St, Austin, TX 78705
http://utdirect.utexas.edu/lomain/orjo.WBX?group_code=A61

The Organization

UT Law students train and supervise local middle school students running peer-run hearings and participate as mentors to students. Youth Court is an alternative discipline program designed to challenge the school-to-prison-pipeline, a national trend whereby children are funneled out of schools and into the juvenile justice system.  Youth Court helps students avoid detrimental punishments of suspensions, expulsions, and criminal citations by agreeing to complete appropriate consequences, suggested by their peers and tailored to particular offenses.  Law students teach middle school students to advocate for their peers, choose appropriate consequences tailored to particular behaviors, and promote student citizenship in the school community.

For more information, please visit: http://www.utexas.edu/law/orgs/youth-court/

Number of student volunteers requested: 30
Project start date:  January 30

Approximate hours of work requested: 1 hour a week

Training: New volunteer training will be held Wednesday, January 29th from 4:00-5:00 in the Goodwin Conference Room, CCJ 1.312 (on the ground floor of CCJ).  Make-up trainings will be held by appointment.

Work will be performed: Webb Middle School, 601 E. St. Johns, weekdays from 2:45-3:45

Skills:  Experience working with kids a plus but not required.
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To sign up:  Email utlawyouthcourt@gmail.com.

 


 

Austin Travis County Reentry Roundtable
http://www.reentryroundtable.net/

The Project

This project involves doing research on Social Impact Bonds (SIB) also known as Pay for Success bonds.   These bonds are an innovative source of potential funding capital for prisoner reentry programs. SIBs raise private investment capital for social programs, with the government agreeing to repay investors only if the interventions improve predetermined reentry outcomes, such as a decline in recidivism. The question around the use of SIB’s in Texas and more specifically Travis County is around the legalities of such funding and the contracts that are currently in use in other states, cities and counties.

The Organization

The mission of the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable is to be a robust, community-wide collaborative and catalyst for systemic change that educates, facilitates, and advocates to promote public safety through effective reentry and reintegration of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons.

Number of student volunteers requested:  1-2
Project start date: Fall Semester

Approximate hours of work requested: 10-20

Training:  Meet with supervising attorney and client organization as needed.

Project location: Home / Law School.

Skills students will use:  Legal Research, Legislative and Policy Analysis, Interviewing

Required skills:
Class year preference: 2L, 3L
Students with prior school or work experience in taxation, finance, or budget analysis are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Texas Foster Youth Justice Project 1 - Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
4920 N. IH 35, Austin, TX 78704 
(512) 374-2729
www.texasfosteryouth.org/ and  www.trla.org/

The Project
Conduct research and write memo regarding role removal in child abuse and neglect referrals to child welfare agency when the alleged perpetrator has been found to not have committed abuse.  Explore legal strategies for challenging inadequate removal of identifying information in agency records.  Possibly draft sample pleadings.  Information in child welfare records about innocent parties found not to be a perpetrator, who in some cases are, foster youth and domestic violence victims, can have long term and serious consequences. 

The Organization
The Texas Foster Youth Justice Project provides free legal assistance to current and former foster youth on a statewide basis.  We assist foster youth, and those that work with them, in understanding and enforcing their rights and overcoming legal barriers to a successful transition to independence.  We are part of the legal aid organization Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. 

Number of student volunteers requested: 1
Project start date:  ongoing
Project end date:  ongoing

Approximate hours of work requested: 10-20 total over the course of the semester   

Work will be performed:  4920 N. IH 35 Austin and locations of student choice

Required Skills
Language: None
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L

To apply:  Submit resume and writing sample to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Texas Foster Youth Justice Project 2 - Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
4920 N. IH 35, Austin, TX 78704 
(512) 374-2729
www.texasfosteryouth.org/ and  www.trla.org/

The Pro Bono Project
Conduct research and write memo concerning the requirements for use and distribution of federal funds for transitional foster youth benefits.  This would involve researching the federal law and regulations regarding the use of the funds as well as limited state law and regulations. Aged out foster youth in some parts of Texas experience significant barriers to accessing benefits.

The Organization
The Texas Foster Youth Justice Project provides free legal assistance to current and former foster youth on a statewide basis.  We assist foster youth, and those that work with them, in understanding and enforcing their rights and overcoming legal barriers to a successful transition to independence.  We are part of the legal aid organization Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. 

Number of student volunteers requested: 1
Project start date:  ongoing
Project end date:  ongoing

Approximate hours of work requested: 10-20 total over the course of the semester   

Work will be performed:  4920 N. IH 35 Austin and locations of student choice

Required Skills
Language: None
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L

To apply:  Submit resume and writing sample to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

UT Law School-to-Prison Pipeline Project
727 East Dean Keeton, Austin, TX  78705
(512) 232-1358

Project
School-to-Prison Pipeline Student Representation and Assistance
Law student volunteers will be trained to give information to defendants regarding their rights in ticketing cases and conduct intakes at juvenile dockets at local justice of the peace or municipal courts.  Law students will assist pro bono attorneys representing students in ticketing cases, school removals, and criminal record expungements.

Organization
UT Law School-to-Prison Pipeline Project
The School-to-Prison Pipeline (STPP) Project works to combat the school-to-prison pipeline phenomenon, whereby children are funneled out of schools into the juvenile justice system.  The STPP Project addresses the pipeline at various stages through its Youth Court and Representation and Expunction initiatives, supervised by the STPP Fellow, Meg Clifford.

Number of student volunteers requested:  2
Project start: Sept 18th

Approximate hours of work requested: One office hour per week in the William Wayne Justice Center.  In addition, students will be asked to attend one to two juvenile dockets per month.

Training: 1 hour of pre-project training( time to be determined between supervisors and volunteers).

Project location: William Wayne Justice Center and local courts.

Skills students will use: Client intake, document preparation, investigation, legal research.

Required skills:  Language: none, Spanish speakers always appreciated.  Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu.

 


 

Domestic Violence Clinic
727 East Dean Keeton, Austin, TX  78705
(512) 232-1358
http://www.utexas.edu/law/clinics/domestic/

The Project
Parole Packet Preparation
Student volunteers will prepare parole packets for victims of domestic violence incarcerated for killing their batterers.  They will use information from interviews with inmates conducted by students in the Domestic Violence Clinic to gather information to support the parole packet.  This will include contacting people for the purpose of gathering 1.)  letters of support for the inmate; 2.) evidence of the abuse of the inmate by their intimate partner that was not offered at trial; and 3.) certificates and other proof of what the inmate has done while incarcerated (classes completed, good behavior, etc.); Volunteers will then draft a parole packet for review by the project's coordinator, and ultimately, by the supervising attorney and correspond with the inmate as needed to gather further information.

The Organization
Domestic Violence Clinic
The Domestic Violence Clinic provides civil legal representation to survivors of domestic violence with cases in Travis County Texas.  In addition the clinic assists victims of domestic violence incarcerated for killing their batterers with putting together parole packets.

Number of student volunteers requested:  10
Project start date: 10/22/2013

Approximate hours of work requested: 30 hours total over a period of several months

Training: 1 hour training, October 22nd, 6pm-7pm

Project location: Law school or at home

Skills students use will: Interviewing witnesses, persuasive writing, negotiating, potential advocacy w/board of paroles

Required Skills
Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary
Class year preference: 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply:  Submit resume to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Texas Defender Service
510 S. Congress Ave
www.texasdefender.org

The Project
Public Defender Policy Project
This project will support Texas Defender Service work in two areas - 1) strengthening the role of the State Bar of Texas in ensuring accountability for prosecutors and 2) investigating the viability a public defender office for direct appeals in capital cases.  Assignments may include legal and policy research and writing, making open records requests, fact investigation and review and analysis of appellate briefs.

The Organization
Texas Defender Service
Texas Defender Service's mission is to promote a fair and just criminal justice system in Texas.  We work primarily in the area of capital litigation, providing training, consultation and support to capital trial teams and also providing consultation and direct representation in post conviction litigation.  Our policy work focuses on systemic fairness issues and strengthening the indigent defense system.

Number of student volunteers requested: 2
Project start date: September 16, 2013
Project end date: November 22, 2013

Approximate hours of work requested: Students will be asked to complete fifty hours of work, five hours a week.

Training: None

Project location: Texas Defender Service, 510 S. Congress Ave., Ste. 304.  Accessible via public  transit.

Skills students will use:
Legal research/writing, policy research, investigation, document review

Required skills:
Class year preference: 2L, 3L

To apply:  Send resume to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Legal Aid Clinic with Volunteer Legal Services
816 Congress Ave, Suite 701, Austin, TX 
www.vlsoct.org

The Project
Legal Aid Clinic – Fluency in Spanish Necessary!
Volunteer Legal Services (VLS) and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA) hold walk in clinics to assist clients with family and general legal issues.  When applicants arrive, they fill out a set of forms, including a demographic form and an extensive questionnaire that delves into the facts of the legal issue, i.e. divorce, domestic violence, etc.  Among other things, the forms ultimately allow VLS and TRLA to determine if the applicant is financially eligible for services.   Applicants then meet with an attorney for an extended intake interview and some brief legal advice.  Many applicants speak only Spanish.  Consequently, VLS is in need of Spanish-speaking volunteers to assist the attorney volunteers with the applicant interviews and to assist applicants with the intake questionnaires.  This is an excellent opportunity to serve members of the Austin-area community.  VLS and the UT Pro Bono Program request that volunteers commit to the requested dates and times (each below).

The Organization
Volunteer Legal Services
Volunteer Legal Services’ mission is to help low-income clients access the civil justice system by providing volunteer attorneys who donate free legal advice and representation and by supporting and training those attorneys.

Number of student volunteers requested:  2 per clinic
Project start date: Fall semester; clinics are held every week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00pm – 8:30pm.  Students may volunteer for one or more clinics throughout the semester.

Approximate hours of work requested: 2-3 hrs/clinic

Training: None.  VLS’ Director Steve Elliot will be at Public Interest Table Talk on September 12 and can answer any questions.

Project location: Mondays at Martin Middle School; Wednesdays at Webb Middle School

Skills students will use:
Document preparation, client interviewing/intake

Required skills:
Language: Spanish
Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L

To apply: Submit resume to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Pro Se Divorce Petitions with Volunteer Legal Services
816 Congress Ave, Suite 701, Austin, TX 
www.vlsoct.org

The Project
Pro Se Divorce Petitions
Under attorney supervision, students will help guide pro se divorce petitioners through the divorce process.  Students will be responsible for assisting pro se petitioners with the following: 

  • drafting a petition for divorce;
  • drafting a final divorce decree and all necessary related documents;
  • ensuring that the opposing party has been properly served with the Divorce Petition; 
  • prepping petitioners to prove up their divorce in court; and 
  • Answering petitioners' questions about their divorce.

This is an excellent opportunity to serve members of the Austin-area community.  It is of utmost importance that volunteers commit, and stay committed, to the duration of the client divorce process.  Students must commit to attend all of the meetings with the pro se clients and to completion of all necessary divorce pleadings and documents.  

The Organization
Volunteer Legal Services
Volunteer Legal Services’ mission is to help low-income clients access the civil justice system by providing volunteer attorneys who donate free legal advice and representation and by supporting and training those attorneys.

Number of student volunteers requested:  12
Project start date: September 2013

Approximate hours of work requested: Students should expect to spend between 10 and 15 hours total on the pro se divorce, spanning between 3 to 6 months, depending on the case.  Students will conduct two meetings with the client during this time.

Training: A one-hour training will be held Friday, September 27, 1:30pm to 2:30pm.  The WWJC Conference Room (CCJ 1.324)

Project location: TBD

Skills students will use:
Community education/outreach, document preparation, client interviewing/intake; possible appearing in court to prove up divorce before judge

Required skills:
Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary
Class year preference: 2L, 3L

To apply: Submit resume to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Asylum Project with American Gateways
314 East Highland Mall Boulevard, Suite 501, Austin, TX 78752 
http://www.americangateways.org/

The Project
Asylum Project
Through the asylum project, students will assist American Gateways Pro Bono Attorneys in preparing asylum cases.  Asylum is available to immigrants who have fled their home countries because of persecution and/or torture due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

The Organization
American Gateways
American Gateways is a non-profit organization that provides free and low-cost direct representation immigration legal services to low-income immigrants in Central Texas. American Gateways works with pro bono attorneys in the community to bring high quality legal services to individuals who cannot afford private attorneys.

Number of student volunteers requested:  5 
Project start date: Fall Semester

Approximate hours of work requested: Students should expect to spend between 30-60 hours total on the asylum process, spanning between 2-8 months, depending on the case.  Students will meet periodically with their supervising attorney during this time. 

Training: 1.5 hour training on September 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm in CCJ 1.324 Conference Room

Project Location: Virtually or in pro bono attorney’s office.  Accessible via public transportation.

Skills students will use:Legal research, draft legal briefs/motions, conduct country condition research, possible assist in attorney-client appointments and observe attorneys at court.

Required Skills:
Language: None required; Foreign language skills a plus
Class year preference: 2L, 3L

Desired course or clinic experience: Immigration coursework beneficial but not necessary.

To apply:  Submit resume to ahill@law.utexas.edu.

 


 

Poverty Simulation with the State Bar of Texas
Texas Law Center.  1414 Colorado St., Austin, TX, 78701
ww.texasbar.com//

The Project
Poverty Simulation
The State Bar of Texas is coordinating a Poverty Simulation for their annual Pro Bono Coordinators Retreat.  They are seeking student volunteers to operate this simulation, wherein each participant will take on the role of a person living in a low-income community.  Each participant will be given a packet that tells them what their family structure and circumstances are, and also gives them the family’s financial situation.  Participants must get through four 15-minute weeks and do what families everywhere do – get to work, get kids to school, feed the family, and pay the bills.  Student volunteers will take on the roles of community businesses and agencies (the bank, the employer, the pawnshop, the legal aid office, and the police department, among others).

The Organization
State Bar of Texas
The mission of the State Bar of Texas is to support the administration of the legal system, assure all citizens equal access to justice, foster high standards of ethical conduct for lawyers, enable its members to better serve their clients and the public, educate the public about the rule of law and promote diversity in the administration of justice and the practice of law.

Number of student volunteers requested:  15
Project start date: 9/12/2013
Project end date:  9/12/2013

Approximate hours of work requested: Three hours, 9am – 12pm.

Training: There will be an orientation by phone beforehand.

Project location: Texas Law Center.  1414 Colorado St., Austin, TX, 78701 (Accessible via public transit).  

Skills students will use:
Community education/outreach

Required skills:
Language: Second language helpful but not necessary
Class year preference: None

To apply:  Send email stating interest to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Voting Rights Awareness with Protect the Vote
1405 Montopolis Dr., Austin, TX 78741
http://www.protectthevotetexas.org/

The Project
Voting Rights Awareness
Student volunteers will reach out to attorney and non-attorney advocates in under-served communities to educate them about voting rights; how to watch for changing policies that may affect their communities; and how to fight back.  Volunteers will research and write a handbook to help the public recognize practices that may violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.  This work is critical given the Supreme Court's recent invalidation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

The Organization
Protect The Vote
"Protect the Vote" is a statewide coalition, launched by the Austin and Texoma branches of the National Lawyers Guild, to fight voting discrimination at the local level across Texas.  The National Lawyers Guild is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. It seeks to unite lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.

Number of student volunteers requested:  3
Project start date: 9/01/2013
Project end date:  12/01/2013

Approximate hours of work requested: 5-10 hours each week, over a three month period

Training:None

Project location: 1405 Montopolis Dr., Austin, TX 78741 (accessible via public transit).  Students may choose to work virtually from home and come into the office once every week.

Skills students will use:
Legal research/writing, policy research, community education/outreach, document preparation

Required skills:
Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary
Class year preference: 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply:  Submit cover letter and resume to Andrew Hill at ahill@law.utexas.edu