The University of Texas School of Law and Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs released a major report on low-income homeowners in Texas colonias and other informal housing settlements developed with limited infrastructure and poor housing conditions. Commissioned in August 2011 by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs at the request of the Texas Sunset Commission, the report will be discussed at a presentation on October 19, 2012, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the University of Texas School of Law, room TNH 3.127.
Faculty and eight students from the University of Texas School of Law’s Supreme Court Clinic will travel to Washington, D.C., to hear oral arguments in one of their current cases, Fane Lozman v. The City of Riviera Beach, Florida, on Monday, October 1, 2012, the opening of the United States Supreme Court’s current term. The case will be argued by David C. Frederick, ’89, codirector of the Supreme Court Clinic and partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC, in Washington, D.C. This will be Frederick’s thirty-eighth argument before the Court.
The Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law and Children’s Rights Clinic have helped develop a multi-stakeholder pilot education reform project focused on youth entering the child welfare system in Travis County. The Education Advocacy Pilot Project, an initiative of the Travis County Model Court for Children and Families, launched last week and will continue through the 2012–2013 school year.
The UT Law Pro Bono Program has teamed with the Law School’s Immigration Clinic to organize weekend clinics throughout the fall to assist pro se youth to petition for relief under the recently launched Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. At the clinics, law students and volunteer attorneys will interview pro se high-school DACA petitioners (aka “DREAMers”) and assist them to complete forms and compile documents to file with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The University of Texas School of Law’s Supreme Court Clinic won a unanimous victory on January 11, 2012, in Pacific Operators Offshore, LLP v. Valladolid, a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court by Clinic Codirector David C. Frederick, ’89. The Clinic was representing Luisa C. Valladolid, whose husband was killed in a forklift accident at a site owned by his employer, Pacific Operators Offshore LLP. At issue was whether she was entitled to state workers’ compensation benefits under California law or federal benefits under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
The University of Texas School of Law and one of its recent graduates were honored by awards from the Texas Access to Justice Commission on November 14, 2011. Robert Brothers, ’11, received the Law Student Pro Bono Award along with Sarah Loeffler, a recent graduate of the University of Houston School of Law. The Law School received the Commitment to Service Award.
In recognition of National Pro Bono Week (October 23–29, 2011), the UT Law Pro Bono Program celebrates the pro bono efforts of members of the Law School community. Recently the Pro Bono Program spoke with Jake Gilbreath, a 2009 UT Law graduate and an attorney at Piper & Turner PLLC, about his pro bono work in family law.
The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law is joining the LBJ School of Public Affairs to undertake a major study for the Texas Legislature on the use of contracts for deed in Texas colonias. The study will focus on title issues, variations of contracts for deed, and abuses during the sale of property in these communities. It will also examine wider issues of title irregularity as these emerge through informal land sales, subdivision, and intestate inheritance.
The Supreme Court has issued its decision in Skinner v. Switzer in favor of Hank Skinner, who is represented by the Law School’s Capital Punishment Clinic.
UT Law’s Community Development Clinic has been helping residents of Rancho Vista, a small colonia outside San Marcos, secure title to their homes, set up a nonprofit corporation to aid with home repairs, and prepare legislation that would make it easier for them to qualify for a homestead exemption.