Left to right: Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the Travis County Civil District Courts; Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson of the Texas Supreme Court; Jessica Kemp; Judge Brenda Kennedy of the Travis County Criminal District Courts; Bea Ann Smith, former Justice of the Third Court of Appeals of Texas; and Judge Elisabeth Earle of the Travis County Courts at Law.
Jessica Kemp, a second year student at the University of Texas School of Law, is the 2009 recipient of the Access to Justice Scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded by the National Association of Women Judges to a female student at the Law School who has demonstrated a sustained and passionate commitment to the achievement of equality of opportunity and access in the justice system.
Jessica Kemp, winner of the 2009 Access to Justice Scholarship
Kemp is active in the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, staff editor of the National Black Law Journal, and a member of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. She works with young African American and Latino women to encourage them to attend college and law school and participated in a winter break pro bono trip to New Orleans, where she worked with the Louisiana Justice Institute to help FEMA trailer residents. Last summer she interned with a state district court and the First Court of Appeals in Houston. Kemp graduated in 2007 from UT-Austin where, as a Bernard and Audre Rapoport Service Scholar, she volunteered 200 hours each summer with nonprofit organizations serving low-income women, children, and families.
Kemp received the scholarship on February 19 in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom during the “Color of Justice” program, which encourages minority high school students from the Austin area to consider law and the judiciary as career aspirations. Kemp addressed the assembled high school students about her pride in becoming the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college, her path to law school, and her hope to give back by becoming a judge. She later took students on a tour of the Law School.
Judge Elisabeth Earle of the Travis County Courts at Law presented the scholarship. Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson of the Texas Supreme Court; Judge Brenda Kennedy of the Travis County Criminal District Courts; Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the Travis County Civil District Courts; and Bea Ann Smith, former Justice of the Third Court of Appeals of Texas, also participated in the program, which was jointly sponsored by the National Association of Women Judges; the Travis County Women Lawyers Association; and the University of Texas Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.
Mary Crouter, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, (512) 232-7855