This academic year, the Law School has formed strong interscholastic teams that will devote much of their winter break to preparing for five moot court competitions under the auspices of The David J. Beck Center for Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy. The new Beck Center was launched last spring with support from David J. Beck, ’65, life trustee of the Law School Foundation and founder of Houston litigation boutique Beck, Redden & Secrest LLP.
Six students have been selected to serve as Public Service Scholars for the 2012–2013 year with the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at the University of Texas School of Law.
In celebration of National Pro Bono Week (October 21–27, 2012), the UT Law Pro Bono Program is pleased to announce that third-year student Megan Sheffield has been selected to serve as a Pro Bono Scholar for the 2012–2013 academic year. The Pro Bono Scholars Program provides scholarships to second- and third-year students who commit to working with the UT Law Pro Bono Program a minimum of three hundred hours during the academic year. The scholars plan and implement pro bono projects and conduct research and outreach that furthers the mission of the program.
On January 6–11, 2013, the Pro Bono Program will take thirty students as well as several faculty members to the Texas Rio Grande Valley during the second week of January. This will be Pro Bono in January’s fourth year in the Valley. This year the Pro Bono Program is partnering with the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin to organize clinics in the San Juan area to assist pro se youth to petition for relief under the recently launched Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. At the clinics, students and volunteer attorneys will help high-school DACA petitioners (aka “DREAMers”) complete forms and compile documents to file with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
In recognition of National Pro Bono Week (October 21–27, 2012), the UT Law Pro Bono Program celebrates law students’ volunteer efforts in underserved areas of Texas through Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s Rural Outreach Initiative. Over the 2011–2012 school year, fourteen students assisted TRLA with the project. This fall nine students have volunteered, and students will also have the opportunity to work on the project in the spring.
During the week of October 21–27, 2012, the UT Law Pro Bono Program will participate in the fourth annual nationwide celebration of pro bono service. Launched by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, the National Pro Bono Celebration focuses the nation’s attention on the increased need for pro bono services and celebrates the work of lawyers who volunteer their services throughout the year.
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.
The Law School congratulates the members of the Class of 2013 who have been admitted to Chancellors, the Law School’s most prestigious honor society. Since 1912, Chancellors has recognized the law students who have achieved the highest grade point averages in their class through their second year of school.
Nikiya Natale, a third-year student at the University of Texas School of Law, has been selected to receive a Baron & Budd Public Interest Scholarship for the 2012–2013 academic year.
The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law has named three law students as Rapoport Center Human Rights Scholars for the 2012–2013 school year. Mark Dawson, Vanshika Vij, and Meredith Weaver were selected by a committee of international law faculty on the basis of their academic credentials, leadership skills, and dedication to human rights work. Each of the students will receive a scholarship.