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January 24, 2008

Equal Justice Works Fellowship Class of 2008

Equal Justice Works Fellowship Class of 2008
Equal Justice Works Fellowship Class of 2008, (left to right): Amber VanSchuyver, Helena Coronado-Salazar, and Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

Two third-year students and one recent graduate of The University of Texas School of Law have been chosen as members of the Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellowship Class of 2008.

Amber VanSchuyver ’08, Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch ’08, and Helena Coronado-Salazar ’07 join a diverse group of fellowship recipients from law schools across the country. EJW fellows work to provide legal services in diverse issue areas, including children and youth advocacy, civil rights, community and economic development, education, health care, housing and homelessness, immigrants’ rights, and workplace safety.

“We are very proud of these three outstanding students,” said Eden Harrington, Director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at the Law School. “They have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to public service, participating in clinics, internships, pro bono projects, and student organizations. Each of them is returning to a non-profit group where she worked previously under Law School sponsorship. They will be outstanding attorneys and will help increase access to justice in Texas.”

Amber VanSchuyver

VanSchuyver will spend her two-year fellowship working with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) in Edinburg, TX. At TRLA, VanSchuyver will provide legal and programmatic assistance to help domestic violence victims obtain financial independence from their batterers through various means, including helping the victims establish a co-operative business enterprise. Established in 1970, TRLA is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to low-income and disadvantaged persons. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety, and stability of low-income Texans by providing high-quality legal and related educational services.

At the law school, VanSchuyver has worked as a student in several clinics and is currently co-president of the Public Interest Law Association. She will be the Law School’s first graduating Equal Justice Scholar. The scholarship program, launched in 2005, covers recipients’ full tuition and fees in return for their commitment to work full-time for three years after graduation for a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization engaged in providing civil legal services to the underserved in Texas. The law school developed the scholarship in partnership with the Texas Access to Justice Commission and Baylor University School of Law, which has a similar program. As an Equal Justice Scholar, VanSchuyver has been a member of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law’s student advisory board and recently led a group of students on a winter break trip to provide volunteer legal services in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.

Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

Lincoln-Goldfinch will work for the Political Asylum Project of Austin (PAPA). PAPA promotes justice for immigrants and refugees by providing free and low cost legal services and education. PAPA’s clients hail from approximately seventy-five countries around the world and during her fellowship term, Lincoln-Goldfinch will provide legal representation and education to immigrant detainees at the Hutto Detention Center, a federal detention facility housing would-be immigrants and their young children.

Lincoln-Goldfinch has already had experience with immigration issues and the detention center as a student in the Law School’s Immigration Clinic. During law school, she worked for PAPA with the support of both a University Co-op Public Interest Summer Fellowship and a Baron & Budd Public Interest Scholarship. She currently serves as a Public Service Scholar with the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law and is also a member of the Women’s Law Caucus. During the last legislative session, she interned for State Representative Juan Garcia. Her EJW fellowship is funded by the firm of Akin Gump L.L.P.

Helena Coronado-Salazar

Coronado-Salazar will continue working with the Equal Justice Center (EJC) in Austin, TX, where she currently interns, to assist immigrant and low-income workers recover unpaid wages. As Wage Collections Counsel, she will focus on creditors’ remedies and will collaborate with key members of the private bar and the Law School’s Transnational Worker Rights Clinic to develop new, sophisticated remedies of wage collections. The EJC is a non-profit, non-partisan employment justice and civil rights organization. Its mission is to empower low-income workers and their families to achieve systemic reforms in the workplace and in their communities by using community organization and coalition-building, legal rights advocacy, and leadership development.

Coronado-Salazar began working with the EJC during the summer of 2007, when she enrolled in the Law School’s Transnational Worker Rights Clinic. She currently works as coordinator of the Texas Families of Incarcerated Youth at the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition in Austin, TX, and volunteers for the Autism Legislation Project based in Chicago, IL. During law school, Coronado-Salazar also participated in the Children’s Rights Clinic and interned with the Texas Advocacy Project (formerly the Women’s Advocacy Project). She was a member of the Student Recruitment and Orientation Committee, the Chicano/Hispanic Law Student Association, and served on the Student Bar Association’s Student-Faculty Minority Affairs Committee. Prior to law school, she was a high school teacher in the Rio Grande Valley. She is originally from Mexico.

The Equal Justice Works Fellowships Program exists to address the shortage of attorneys working on behalf of under-served populations and causes. The two-year Fellowships offer salary and benefits and a national training and leadership development program to fellows during the term of the Fellowship.

“Students interested in pursuing a public interest career should strongly consider applying for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. The fellowship is prestigious and generous, and allows attorneys to work on projects that may otherwise not exist,” said Tina V. Fernandez, Associate Director of The University of Texas School of Law Career Services Office. “We are very pleased with the success that University of Texas Law students and graduates have had in receiving this fellowship.”

Related links:

Equal Justice Center

Immigration Clinic

Political Asylum Project of Austin

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Transnational Worker Rights Clinic

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law

Contact: Tina V. Fernandez, Associate Director for Career Services, (512) 232-1159, or tfernandez@law.utexas.edu