UT Law hosts sixth annual Color of Justice program
On April 17, 2013, the Law School hosted the sixth annual Color of Justice program to inspire Austin-area minority high school students to pursue careers in law. The annual event was organized by the National Association of Women Judges, the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, and the Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, with support from sponsoring law firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC, and Winstead. Audience members included approximately seventy-five students from Garza, Akins, and East Austin College Prep high schools.
The half-day event featured two panel discussions with speakers who shared their personal experiences and advised the students about preparing for college and graduate school. As part of the program, first-year Law School studen Simone Otenaike received a $1,000 “Access to Justice Scholarship” from District 11 of the National Association of Women Judges for her commitment to equality of opportunity and access in the justice system. Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the 419th Judicial Civil District Court and director of District 11 presented the award.
The first panel, entitled “The Color of Justice: Making a Difference,” included Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman; Judge Naranjo; Judge Eric Shepperd of the Travis County Civil Courts, County Court at Law #2; and Judge Carlos Barrera of the Travis County Criminal Courts, County Court at Law #8. The second panel, entitled “Law as a Career: Preparing the Way,” featured award recipient Otenaike and a mix of legal professionals: Alex Gonzales, the managing shareholder of Winstead’s Austin office; Renee Castillo-De La Cruz, a criminal defense attorney; UT Law advocacy professor Tracy McCormack; and Rudolph Metayer, an attorney with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services and president of the Austin Black Lawyers Association.
Contact: Mary Crouter, Assistant Director, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, UT Law, 512-232-7855, firstname.lastname@example.org