Andrea Marsh is a Clinical Lecturer and the Director of the Richard & Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program in the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law. Andrea works with students on pro bono projects that assist nonprofit organizations with legal intake for child refugees and help clients with expunctions, parole applications, clemency applications, deferred action for childhood arrivals applications and renewals, and the preparation of wills and other documents to preserve assets for low-income families in unregulated communities near the Texas-Mexico border. Andrea also helps place students in pro bono projects with nonprofit legal organizations.
Prior to joining UT, Andrea founded the Texas Fair Defense Project and served as its Executive Director for ten years. Andrea currently holds the position of Senior Counsel with TFDP. TFDP is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the public defense system and challenge policies that create modern-day debtors’ prisons filled with poor people who cannot afford to pay commercial bond fees and post-conviction fines and costs. At TFDP, Andrea has led advocacy campaigns that resulted in legislation that protects the rights of poor people accused of crimes and successfully challenged unconstitutional public defense procedures before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas Supreme Court, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Andrea frequently works with judges and bar leaders to create new programs and standards for the creation of public defense services. She is a member of the advisory panel for a legislatively-mandated study of defender caseloads, a member of the advisory panel for a pilot program that will allow indigent defendants to choose their own counsel, and a member of the oversight board for a regional public defender program that provides trial representation in death penalty cases in over 150 Texas counties. Andrea chaired the subcommittee that drafted the State Bar of Texas’s Performance Guidelines for Non-Capital Criminal Defense Representation, and served on the study group that developed the proposal for the new public defender’s office in Harris County (Houston).
Andrea is a graduate of Tulane University and Yale Law School. She clerked for the Honorable Keith P. Ellison of the United States District Court in Laredo, Texas. Andrea has been awarded several prestigious national public interest fellowships, including the Liman Public Interest Fellowship (2002-2003, Yale Law School), the Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship (2004-2006, Open Society Institute), the Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowship (2005-2006, Harvard Law School), and the Humanities Institute Community Sabbatical Research Fellowship (2012-2013, University of Texas at Austin). Her work has been recognized with the State Bar of Texas’s J. Chrys Dougherty Legal Services Award (2014), an Impact Award from the Bar’s Poverty Law Section (2014), the Bar’s Michael K. Moore Award for Excellence in Research or Writing in the Area of Indigent Criminal Defense (2014), the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association’s Public Interest Award (2014), the Texas Law Fellowship’s Excellence in Public Interest Award (2009), and Texas Lawyer magazine’s Extraordinary Women in Texas Law Award (2008). She is a member of the Yale Law School Association’s Executive Committee.