The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

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May 8, 2007

Press contacts: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu, or Mary Crouter, UT Law Justice Center, 512-232-7855.

Selina Llaguno and Elizabeth Wagoner Receive UT Law Faculty Fellowships

Photograph of the 2007 Law Faculty Fellowship recipients
Elizabeth Wagoner, left, and Selina Llaguno

AUSTIN, Texas—Selina Llaguno, ’07, and Elizabeth Wagoner, ’07, have received fellowships funded by The University of Texas School of Law and its faculty that will allow the two graduating students to launch careers in public interest law.

Llaguno and Wagoner were awarded the UT Law Faculty Post-Graduate Fellowships in Public Interest Law by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at the Law School. The law students—selected by a faculty committee based on their project proposals—will each receive a stipend of $37,000 for one year.

The fellowship program was created in 2005 through generous contributions from members of the law faculty and the Law School. Its purpose is to create opportunities for outstanding graduating law students to work with public interest legal organizations on behalf of underrepresented individuals or groups.

“It is a privilege to support these outstanding, committed students as they begin their public interest careers and work to address previously unmet legal needs for immigrants in West Texas and New York,” said Eden Harrington, director of the Justice Center, which administers the fellowship program.

Llaguno will develop a program to provide legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in El Paso. The program will increase access to justice for immigrant victims of domestic violence, a group that faces strong barriers in obtaining services and legal remedies.

“Selina has the very highest potential for becoming an outstanding lawyer in our organization, and we are delighted to have her join us,” said David Hall, TRLA’s executive director. “More importantly, there are several thousand poor people in West Texas who will now be the beneficiaries of her dedicated service.”

Llaguno has previously worked on domestic violence issues as an intern with TRLA in El Paso, and as a student attorney with UT Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic. She has been actively involved with the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association, the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy, and Assault & Flattery. Llaguno is a graduate of the University of Texas, El Paso.

Established in 1970, TRLA is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area that covers the southwestern third of the state, including the entire Texas-Mexico border region. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety, and stability of low-income Texans by providing high quality legal services and related educational services.

Wagoner was awarded a fellowship to develop The Immigrant Women’s Workplace Justice Project with Make the Road by Walking in Brooklyn, NY. The project will provide legal services, civil rights training, and impact litigation to support low-income immigrant women workers.

“We specialize in the complexities of employment law as applied to immigrant workers. We need someone with Elizabeth’s experience and drive to develop a project that will help dismantle some of the many obstacles faced by our female members and clients,” said Deborah Axt, legal director for Make the Road by Walking. “Elizabeth’s energy for this work is contagious and persuasive, and she has very real experience from which to draw, utilizing law in the service of low-wage workers.”

Wagoner worked as a legal intern for Make the Road by Walking during the summer of 2005 and fall of 2006. She has also worked on labor law issues as a Peggy Browning Fellow for Unite Here in New York and as a student attorney in UT Law’s Transnational Worker Rights Clinic. She has been active with the National Lawyers Guild, the Student-Farmworker Alliance, the Public Interest Law Association, and Concerned Students for LRAP (Loan Repayment Assistance Program). Wagoner is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University.

Make the Road by Walking promotes economic justice, equity and opportunity for all New Yorkers through community and electoral organizing, strategic policy advocacy, leadership development, youth and adult education, and high quality legal and support services.

Related Links:

Make the Road by Walking:
www.maketheroad.org

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid:
www.trla.org

UT Law Faculty Post-Graduate Fellowship in Public Interest Law:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/publicinterest/justicecorps/facultyfellow.html

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law:
www.utlawjusticecenter.org