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November 15, 2006

Press Contacts: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu, and Eden Harrington, UT Law Justice Center, 512-232-7068, or Nick Doughty, UT Law Justice Center, 512-232-6277.

UT Law's Justice Center Co-Sponsors Student-Attorney Project to Provide Free Legal Services to Breast Cancer Patients

AUSTIN, Texas—The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at The University of Texas School of Law announced Wednesday the establishment of "Lawyers for Women Fighting Breast Cancer," a pro bono project that provides free legal services to low-income women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Travis County Women Lawyers Association developed the project in partnership with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas and the Justice Center.

The project will match pro bono attorneys with breast cancer patients who have civil legal needs. The Justice Center will also identify volunteer law students to assist attorneys who request student help with their cases.

"TCWLA is honored to have the opportunity to assist women with breast cancer who need legal services but cannot afford them," said Portia Bosse of the Travis County Women Lawyers Association. "The ability of our members to enlist a law student to assist in this effort and the support from Volunteer Legal Services are both key to the project's success."

Participating students, who will serve as Pro Bono Fellows, will provide much-needed legal services to breast cancer patients, work closely with mentor attorneys, gain hands-on experience, and network with private attorneys in the Austin area. The cases may involve estate planning, family law, medical benefits, consumer law or housing issues.

"We are pleased to offer this new pro bono project to our students," said Eden Harrington, director of the Justice Center. "This is a great opportunity for them to work with the Austin legal community and help meet the legal needs of women fighting breast cancer."

The Justice Center anticipates selecting 10 to 15 fellows to work with the project during the spring semester. Fellows will be assigned to pro bono attorneys on an as-needed basis after clients are identified and matched with counsel. Fellows will be asked to spend up to 30 hours on pro bono cases. Some fellows may have the opportunity to begin working on cases during the winter break.

The Justice Center will select fellows for the project on a rolling basis between Nov. 15, 2006, and Jan. 26, 2007, and the final list of fellows will be announced on Jan. 29, 2007. A project description and application are available online at http://www.utlawjusticecenter.org/probono/

The Justice Center also plans to hold an informational meeting about the project on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Jury Room 2.310. Lunch will be provided. Students may direct questions about the project to Nick Doughty, administrator for the Justice Center (512-232-6277, ndoughty@law.utexas.edu), or to John Belanger, law student coordinator for the project (john_h_belanger@yahoo.com).

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