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September 14, 2005

Press Contact:
Allegra Young, UT Law, (512) 471-7330.

UT Law's Immigration Law Clinic Awards its First Clinical Fellowship

Photo of Professor Barbara Hines and Frances Valdez
Professor Barbara Hines
and Frances Valdez, '05

AUSTIN, Texas—The Immigration Law Clinic at The University of Texas School of Law has awarded its first Clinical Fellowship to Frances Valdez, '05. The fellowship will provide a stipend to Valdez to work full-time for one year with the Immigration Law Clinic, beginning in September, 2005.

The purposes of the Clinical Fellowship are to increase the capacity of the Immigration Law Clinic and to create an opportunity for an outstanding new lawyer to begin practicing immigration law in the clinical education context. The fellowship is funded by the Law School.

Valdez will work closely with Professor Barbara Hines, the Director of the Immigration Clinic, and students enrolled in the clinic in representing low-income clients. The clinic provides practical and theoretical experience for students who represent immigrants before the immigration courts and the Department of Homeland Security. The clinic focuses on cases involving applicants for asylum, long term permanent residents facing deportation and immigrant victims of domestic violence. The clinic is affiliated with the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the Law School.

Valdez was selected by Professor Hines, who commented, “I am very grateful to the Law School for its support of the Immigration Law Clinic. This Clinical Fellowship will provide an excellent training experience for a new graduate and will allow the clinic to represent more low-income immigrants. Frances Valdez has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to public interest law, and she is the ideal Clinical Fellow.”

Ms. Valdez was involved in public interest law and clinical education throughout her law school career. She was a student in the Immigration Law Clinic in the spring of 2005, and also participated in the Juvenile Justice and Criminal Defense Clinics. In addition, Ms. Valdez worked with outside public interest organizations such as Political Asylum Project of Austin, Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Catholic Charities. Ms. Valdez stated that “the Clinical Fellowship is the ideal opportunity to begin her career in public interest.”

Related Link:
Immigration Law Clinic: http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/clinics/immigration/