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Meg Clifford, ’12, joins Justice Center as “School-to-Prison Pipeline” project research fellow

Pro Bono Program Director Tina Fernandez, left, and Meg Clifford, ’12, a research fellow for a new “School to Prison Pipeline” project at the Law School.

The Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law is partnering with the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) to fund a two-year research fellow to work on a new “School-to-Prison Pipeline” project. Meg Clifford, ’12, has been selected for the position.

The “school-to-prison pipeline,” a national trend whereby children with disciplinary referrals are funneled out of schools into the juvenile justice system, has been an ongoing focus of the UT Law Pro Bono Program, a Justice Center initiative. Clifford served as a Teach for America teacher in New York City before law school and graduated from UT Law in May. She was instrumental in launching the Law School’s Webb Middle School Youth Court in the underserved St. Johns neighborhood in Austin. In her new position she will explore ways to mitigate the school-to-prison pipeline through peer adjudication models, pro bono projects, interdisciplinary research, and community education. She will also administer and evaluate the Webb Middle School Youth Court. Tina Fernandez, director of the Pro Bono Program, will supervise the project.

“The DDCE is proud to partner with the UT School of Law,” said DDCE Vice President Dr. Gregory Vincent. “The division’s work involves addressing long-standing systemic problems related to education and social justice, including the school-to-prison pipeline, and the partnership with Youth Court will further our work on these fronts.”

In addition to support from the Law School and the DDCE, the new initiative is supported by a generous gift from the Janet Newberger Scholarship Fund.

“We are very pleased to launch this new project and build on the work of our successful pro bono Youth Court,” said Eden Harrington, director of the Justice Center. “We are grateful to the Janet Newberger Scholarship Fund and the Newberger family for their support and to the DDCE for partnering with us in this effort.”

Contact: Tina Fernandez, Director, Pro Bono Program, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, 512-232-6170, tfernandez@law.utexas.edu

Related links:

Pro Bono Program

UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law

Youth Court

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