The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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Projects with Attorneys or Legal Services Providers

Catholic Charities of Central Texas
1625 Rutherford Lane, Austin TX 
http://ccctx.org/ils/

The Project

DACA Renewals
Students will assist CCCTX clients at a one-day clinic for individuals (aka "Dreamers") whose original DACA status is expiring and who are eligible for a two-year renewal of that status. Individuals with DACA status are eligible to receive a work permit and have temporary administrative relief from deportation.

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.

The Details

Number of student volunteers requested:  3

Project date: Friday, November 14, 2014, 8am-4pm (end time approximate)

Approximate hours of work requested: 8 hours

Training: A 30-minute training session will be held Friday, November 14, 8am-4pm, immediately before the clinic

Project location: Catholic Charities office (1625 Rutherford Lane, Austin, Texas 78754)

Skills students will use: Client intake/interviewing; document preparation/review

Required skills: Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Sarah Sedgwick at ssedgwick@law.utexas.edu

 

 


 

Foundation Communities
3036 South 1st Street, Austin TX 
www.foundcom.org/get-involved/volunteer-with-tax-centers/ 

The Project

Community Tax Centers
Students will work directly with families to file their tax returns at Foundation Communities tax centers. Students will walk clients through the tax preparation process and prepare returns using TaxWise software.

The Organization

Foundation Communities
Foundation Communities provides first class, affordable homes and free onsite support services for thousands of working families with kids, as well as veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. We offer an innovative, proven model that empowers our residents and neighbors to achieve educational success, financial stability, and healthier lifestyles.

The Details

Number of student volunteers requested:  No limit

Project start date: December 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: 40-50 hours total, over a period starting in December 2014 or January 2015 and ending April 2015

Training: Students must attend an 8- or 12-hour training at Foundation Communities and pass an IRS Volunteer Tax Preparer Certification test; a number of training sessions will be available in December 2014 and January 2015

Project location: Various Foundation Communities tax center locations; volunteers will be able to sign up for available shifts at a location of their choice after they complete training; clinics will be open during business hours, in the evenings, and on weekends

Skills students will use: Client intake/ interviewing; document preparation/review

Required skills: None

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit a volunteer application online at https://app.volunteer2.com/Public/Signup?organizationGUID=7ec98974-f6e1-41ac-87bb-a96ea60eb893&signUpFormId=&communityHubGUID=  

 


 

Austin Bar Association
816 Congress Avenue, Suite 700, Austin, TX 
http://www.austinbar.org/event/free-legal-advice-clinic-veterans/

The Project

Veterans Legal Advice Clinic
Students will assist attorney volunteers at the Austin Bar's Veterans Legal Advice Clinic. Students will assist with check-in and client intake, and may shadow attorney volunteers as they provide brief legal advice related to a variety of legal issues affecting veterans, including divorce; child support and custody; consumer and contract issues; criminal law issues; wills, estates, guardianship, and probate; housing and landlord/tenant issues; and bankruptcy.

The Organization

Austin Bar Association
The Austin Bar Association is made up of more than 4,300 attorneys within the Austin area. The Austin Bar prides itself on a long-standing commitment to provide attorneys continuing legal education, networking and social opportunities, along with service to the community.

The Details

Number of student volunteers requested:  3

Project start date: November 10, 2014, 1:15pm-4:15pm

Approximate hours of work requested: 3 hours

Training: Training will be provided onsite at the clinic

Project location: Austin VA Outpatient Clinic (7901 Montopolis Drive, Austin, Texas 78744)

Skills students will use: Community education/outreach; client intake; document review

Required skills: None

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Email Sarah Sedgwick at ssedgwick@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Texas Title Project
727 East Dean Keeton, Austin, TX 78703 
https://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/publicinterest/txtitleproject/

The Project

Homestead Exemption and Wills Outreach Clinic
Students will help low-income disaster victims in the Rio Grande Valley and Gulf Coast protect their newly-reconstructed housing by drafting wills and applying for homestead property tax exemptions. Families who have been successful in accessing government assistance to construct new homes face significant rises in taxes that will make holding onto these new assets extremely difficult if they are not successful in qualifying for various levels of tax exemption this year. And without wills, their titles will become clouded by intestate succession, placing these hard-won assets in jeopardy of deterioration and future abandonment. 

In this phase of the project, students will be briefly trained on the general benefits of estate planning and of obtaining homestead exemptions and will then telephone hundreds of eligible families to explain these benefits. Because families have waited more than five years to access government relief to rebuild uninhabitable homes, and are somewhat mistrustful of unknown callers offering assistance, students will be trained on how to persuade callers to stay on the line and how to build trust through careful and persistent communication.

The Organization

Texas Title Project
The Texas Title Project assists low-income victims of Hurricanes Ike and Dolly in clearing title to their properties to achieve relocation and/or rebuild. The Project is funded by the General Land Office and is based in the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.

The Details

Number of student volunteers requested:  50

Project start date: November 5, 5:30pm–8:30pm

Approximate hours of work requested: Students should expect to spend three hours at the evening clinic (dinner provided) and then follow up with assigned clients for the next week; this may require 3-8 additional hours over the week following the training, performed at times consistent with students’ schedules but mostly in the early evenings. 

Training: Students will be trained during the work session on November 5

Project location: The November 5 work session will be in TNH 2.124; for post-clinic follow up, students will work off-site at location of their choice

Skills students will use: Community education/outreach; oral communication skills 

Required skills: Spanish highly valued but not necessary; students who speak Spanish will receive preference for up to 30 of 50 volunteer slots

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest and detailing language skills to Prof. Lucy Wood at lwood@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Casa Marianella Immigration Legal Services
821 Gunter Street, Austin, TX 78702 
http://www.casamarianella.org/

The Project

Lodging Clinic
Students will assist Casa Marianella Immigration Legal Services (CMILS) clients at a one-day "lodging" clinic. Students will interview asylum seekers and help them fill out basic asylum applications. These applications then will be "lodged" with the immigration court clerk. Asylum seekers currently are facing very long delays in obtaining court hearings; the "lodging" process allows them to work legally in the United States while their asylum applications are pending and while they wait for a hearing date.

The Organization

Casa Marianella Immigration Legal Services
CMILS serves immigrants, asylum-seekers, asylees, and female victims of crime in Austin, Texas. CMILS helps newly arrived immigrants residing in the Casa Marianella and Posada Esperanza shelters, as well as other immigrants below the poverty line, in applying for work permits, renewing green cards, seeking asylum, petitioning for family members, preparing applications for U Visas, and dealing with other immigration legal matters.

The Details

Number of student volunteers requested:  10

Project date: Saturday, October 18, 1pm-5pm

Approximate hours of work requested: 4 hours, including a 1-hour training session

Training: A 1-hour training session will be held on Saturday, October 18 at 1 pm, immediately before the clinic

Project location: Casa Marianella, 821 Gunter Street

Skills students will use: Client interviewing/intake; document preparation

Required skills: Language: Spanish or Nepali helpful but not necessary

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest and indicating if you have any foreign language skills to Sarah Sedgwick at ssedgwick@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Texas Title Project
727 East Dean Keeton, Austin, TX 78703 
https://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/publicinterest/txtitleproject/

The Project

Homestead Tax Deduction Valuation Project
Students will help low-income disaster victims in the Rio Grande Valley and in the Gulf qualify for homestead property tax exemptions. Families who have been successful in accessing government assistance to construct new homes face significant rises in taxes that will make holding onto these new assets extremely difficult if they are not successful in qualifying for various levels of tax exemption this year. In this phase of the projects, students access background tax information on the hurricane-impacted properties (exemptions in place, value, etc.) so that applicants may be counseled on the amount of money they are likely to be refunded, and how much they are likely to save going forward. 

The Organization

Texas Title Project
The Texas Title Project assists low-income victims of Hurricanes Ike and Dolly in clearing title to their properties to achieve relocation and/or rebuild. The Project is funded by the General Land Office and is based in the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.

The Details

Number of student volunteers requested:  30

Project start date: October 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: Students should expect to spend between 5-10 hours total on online research between the training date and October 31, 2014.

Training: A 1-hour training will be held Tuesday, October 21, 11:45am-12:45pm in TNH 2.140

Project location: Students will work off-site at location of their choice

Skills students will use: Investigation; online tax/central appraisal district research

Required skills: No foreign language or other specialized skills required

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Prof. Lucy Wood at lwood@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
1714 Fortview Road, Suite 104, Austin, TX  78704
www.texascjc.org

The Project
Juvenile Lifers Project--Interviewers
Students will conduct interviews in correctional institutions with offenders who are serving extreme sentences for offenses committed as juveniles and prepare memos summarizing interviews for pro bono attorneys. Students may be offered the opportunity to extend their role to the Spring Semester, either as a pro bono volunteer or a pro bono internship, in order to conduct additional interviews and to compile data collected from interviews with youth offenders for purposes of producing a report for the Legislature. 

The Organization
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
The TCJC identifies and advances real solutions to the problems facing Texas’ juvenile and criminal justice systems. TCJC is coordinating efforts in Texas to implement fair and age-appropriate sentences for youth, with a focus on abolishing life without parole or functional life without parole sentences for youth. The Juvenile Lifers Project has two primary goals: (1) identify all youth currently serving these extreme sentences and pair them with attorneys who can help then with their appeals and (2) produce a report to the Legislature to give it a better picture of these youth: who they are, what their lives were like prior to the commitment offense, and what they did that resulted in such an extreme sentence.

The Details
Number of student volunteers requested: Up to 16

Project start date: October 2014; students will sign up for specific interview dates at the training.

Approximate hours of work requested: Up to 25 hours total over the course of fall semester, including training

Training: A four-hour training will be held Friday, October 17, 2014, 12pm-4pm in Goodwin Conference Room (CCJ 1.312); supervising attorneys also will be available to answer questions throughout the project.  

Project Location: Various Texas prisons; carpools from Austin will be arranged

Skills students will use: Client interviewing/intake legal writing; investigation

Required skills: Student volunteers should have a strong commitment to criminal and juvenile justice issues, particularly reform to harsh juvenile sentencing practices in Texas, racial discrimination in juvenile justice, and /or human rights in the United States; exceptional candidates will have experience interviewing clients, ideally clients in institutional settings.    

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest and indicating whether you have a car to Sarah Sedgwick at ssedgwick@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Equal Justice Center
510 South Congress Avenue, Suite 206, Austin, TX  78704
http://www.equaljusticecenter.org

The Project
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Intake
Students will respond to intake calls from individuals (aka “DREAMers”) seeking to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. Students will conduct an initial screen for DACA eligibility and identify clients eligible to receive assistance from the Equal Justice Center in completing their DACA applications.

The Organization
The Equal Justice Center
The Equal Justice Center’s 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.

The Details
Number of student volunteers requested: 3

Project start date: October 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: 4-6 hours per week

Training: 1 hour of training will be provided at the Equal Justice Center

Project Location: 510 South Congress Avenue, Suite 206, Austin, TX  78704

Skills students will use: Client interviewing/ intake

Required skills: Spanish required

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Sarah Sedgwick at ssedgwick@law.utexas.edu

 


Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
1714 Fortview Road, Suite 104, Austin, TX  78704
www.texascjc.org

The Project
Juvenile Lifers Project – Project Managers
Students will serve as project coordinators for the juvenile lifers project. In this role, students will coordinate interviews with youth offenders serving extreme sentences, assist with planning trips to correctional institutions for interviews and trainings for students on campus, and respond to mail from individuals in prison. Students may be offered the opportunity to extend their role to the Spring Semester, either as a pro bono volunteer or a pro bono internship, in order to continue with the above tasks and to compile data collected from interviews with youth offenders for purposes of producing a report for the Legislature.

The Organization
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
The TCJC identifies and advances real solutions to the problems facing Texas’ juvenile and criminal justice systems. TCJC is coordinating efforts in Texas to implement fair and age-appropriate sentences for youth, with a focus on abolishing life without parole or functional life without parole sentences for youth. The Juvenile Lifers Project has two primary goals: (1) identify all youth currently serving these extreme sentences and pair them with attorneys who can help then with their appeals and (2) produce a report to the Legislature to give it a better picture of these youth: who they are, what their lives were like prior to the commitment offense, and what they did that resulted in such an extreme sentence.

The Details
Number of student volunteers requested: 2

Project start date: October 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: 10 hours per week

Training: Rolling. Supervising attorney will be available to answer questions throughout the project.  

Project Location: 1714 Fortview Road, Suite 104, Austin, TX

Skills students will use: Legal research/ writing; policy research; investigation; client interviewing/intake

Required skills: Student volunteers should have a strong commitment to criminal and juvenile justice issues, particularly reform to harsh juvenile sentencing practices in Texas, racial discrimination in juvenile justice, and /or human rights in the United States. Exceptional candidates will have experience interviewing clients, ideally clients in institutional settings.    

Class year preference: 2L, 3L

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Elizabeth Henneke at ehenneke@texascjc.org

 


Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
4920 N. IH 35, Austin, TX 78751
http://www.texasfosteryouth.org

The Project
Texas Foster Youth Justice Project
Student will review and assist in revisions to “A Guide to Those “Aging Out” of Foster Care in Texas,” which can be found at texasfosteryouth.org. The Guide, currently in its 4th edition, has been distributed to over 12,000 aging out foster youth and is considered an invaluable resource – requests for guides to distribute to youth come from around Texas from CPS staff, judges, CASAs, attorneys and others. We’ll be updating the Guide after the 2015 legislative session and before beginning that process would like a law student, with a fresh set of eyes, to review the Guide to assess for other possible revisions, checking for youth friendly language and wording, typos, and areas that are confusing.

The Organization
Texas Foster Youth Project
A special project of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project provides free legal services and advice to those in foster care or who have aged out of foster care. The Project also serves as a resource for those who work with foster youth.

The Details
Number of student volunteers requested: 1

Project start date: October 2014

Project end date: December 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: 20 hours

Training: One hour meeting with Project staff

Project Location: Work can be done anywhere. Student volunteer will go to the TRLA office for an initial meeting and an end-of-project meeting.

Skills students will use: Document preparation; document review

Required skills: N/A

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L

To apply: Submit a cover letter and resume to Mary Christine Reed at mcreed@trla.org

 


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 nonprofit 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.

The Details
Number of student volunteers requested:  5

Project start date: September 2014

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.

Training: A 1.25 hour training will be held Tuesday, September 23, 5:45pm-7:00pm in WWJC Conference Room (CCJ 1.324)

Project location: Students will work off-site at location of their choice and/or at pro bono attorney’s office

Skills students will use: Legal research/writing; litigation preparation; investigation; country conditions research

Required skills: Language: Arabic, French, or Spanish helpful but not necessary

Class year preference: 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Sarah Sedgwick at ssedgwick@law.utexas.edu

 


Texas Law Expunction Project
727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX  78705
https://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/publicinterest/probono/

The Project
Expunction Project
Students will help people determine eligibility and prepare paperwork to file petitions to expunge criminal records or obtain orders of nondisclosure of criminal records. Expunging records allows people to legally deny offenses and erases records from criminal histories, mitigating future harm stemming from arrests that do not result in a criminal conviction. Orders of nondisclosure direct police departments and other agencies not to disclose criminal records on background checks, and allow a person to not disclose offenses on applications for housing or employment.

The Organization
UT Law Pro Bono Program Educational Equity Project
The Expunction Project is an internal project of the Texas Law Pro Bono Program’s Educational Equity Project.

The Details
Number of student volunteers requested: 24 for Intake Clinic; 12 for Expunction Work Session

Project dates:  Students may participate in one or both clinics

Intake Clinic: Tuesday, September 30, 5:30pm-8:30pm, UIL Building (1701 Manor Rd)
Expunction Work Session: Wednesday, October 22, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Approximate hours of work requested: 3-5 hours

Training:
For Intake Clinic: Friday, September 26, 11am-12pm OR Monday, September 29,
5pm-6pm
For Expunction Work Session: Students will be trained in the first 30 minutes of the
work session on Wednesday, October 22

Project location: Intake Clinic: TBD; Work Session: UT Law

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 Sarah Sedgwick at ssedgwick@law.utexas.edu

 


Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable
c/o William Wayne Justice Center, 727 E. Dean Keeton St, Austin, TX 78705
http://www.reentryroundtable.net/

The Project
Family Reunification Project
Students will assist the Reentry Roundtable in its efforts to support family reunification following an individual's release from incarceration by researching existing family reunification and housing reentry programs in other jurisdictions. Students also may be asked to perform follow up interviews with representatives from the studied programs to assess a program's challenges and successes. This research is the first stage in a larger project to improve family reunification programs and housing opportunities in Travis County.

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

The Details
Number of student volunteers requested: 1-2

Project start date: September 2014

Training: Training will be provided as needed. The supervising attorney will be available to answer questions throughout the project.

Approximate hours of work requested: 15-20 hours

Project location: Off-site location of student’s choice

Skills students will use: Legal research/writing; policy research; investigation

Required skills: Experience doing work involving housing policy or criminal justice helpful but not necessary

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit an email stating interest to Helen Gaebler at hgaebler@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Catholic Charities of Central Texas
1625 Rutherford Lane, Austin TX 
http://ccctx.org/ils/

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.

The Details

Number of student volunteers requested:  7

Project start date: September 2014

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

Training: A one-hour training will be held Thursday, September 25, 11:50am-12:50pm in WWJC Conference Room (CCJ 1.324)

Project location: Catholic Charities office (1625 Rutherford Lane, Austin, Texas 78754); limited work from home possible for some project tasks

Skills students will use: Legal research/writing; document preparation/review; client interviewing

Required skills: Language: Spanish helpful but not necessary

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest to Sarah Sedgwick at ssedgwick@law.utexas.edu

 


 

Texas Law Youth Court
727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX  78705
https://www.utexas.edu/law/orgs/youth-court/

The Project
Youth Court
Students will train and supervise local middle school students who conduct 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 pushed out of school 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 will teach middle school students to advocate for their peer, choose appropriate consequences tailored to particular behaviors, and promote student citizenship in the school community.

The Organization
UT Law Pro Bono Program Educational Equity Project
The Expunction Project is an internal project of the Texas Law Pro Bono Program’s Educational Equity Project.

The Details
Number of student volunteers requested: 30

Project start date: September 2014

Approximate hours of work requested: 1 hour per week through November 20, 2014

Training: A two-hour training will be held Wednesday, September 10, 5pm-7pm in TNH 2.123. Make-up trainings will be held by appointment.

Project location: Webb Middle School, 601 St. John’s Avenue, Austin, TX 78752

Skills students will use: Client communication and problem-solving; mediation; restorative justice practices

Required skills: Experience working with kids a plus but not required

Class year preference: 1L, 2L, 3L, LLM

To apply: Submit email stating interest to utlawyouthcourt@gmail.com