Tina V. Fernandez is the Director of the Pro Bono Program at The University of Texas School of Law, whose vision is that UT Law students will engage in pro bono work to increase access to justice and develop a lifetime commitment to providing legal services to those in need. She has taught legal research and writing, the Legislative Internship Class, Government Internship class and currently teaches the Nonprofit Internship class. She is also the faculty advisor for Youth Court and the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association.
Prior to serving in this capacity, Tina was the Managing Director of Alumni Engagement & Infrastructure for Teach For America, a national nonprofit dedicated to closing the achievement gap in this country. In that role, she worked to engage TFA’s then 14,000 alumni through fundraising and volunteer recruitment. During her tenure, Teach for America engaged a record percent of alumni—over 40% in 2009. Prior to joining Teach For America’s staff, Tina was the Associate Director of Career Services at The University of Texas School of Law. In this position, she worked primarily with students interested in pursuing public interest legal careers and served on the national board of PSLawnet, a national clearinghouse of public interest organizations and opportunities.
From 1999-2004, Tina worked as a litigation associate at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. While at Fulbright, Tina handled several pro bono cases, including representing indigent women in divorce cases and children in abuse and neglect cases. She also served on the firm’s diversity committee. Tina earned her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law where she was a recipient of a Human Rights Fellowship Award. Before attending law school, Tina was a Teach for America ’94 corps member and spent two years as a bilingual elementary teacher in the South Bronx. She graduated from Harvard in 1994 and is from the Rio Grande Valley. She currently serves as Chair of the Bellwether Education Partners Board of Directors, Chair of the IDEA Public Schools Austin Advisory Board, President of the Mathews Elementary PTA and sits on the national board of directors for IDEA Public Schools. She is a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin and is also a founding member of FuturoFund Austin, a philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting nonprofits that have an impact on Latino communities in Central Texas.