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March 24, 2009

Justice Center announces Frank Douglass Public Interest Summer Fellowships

Photo of Frank Douglass Public Interest Summer Fellowships

Recipients of the 2009 Frank Douglass Public Interest Summer Fellowship, from left to right: Daniel Lenhoff, ’11; Allyson Courter, ’11; Meredith Shytles, ’11; and Devon Helfmeyer, ’11.

Four University of Texas School of Law students have been selected as the 2009 Frank Douglass Public Interest Summer Fellows. Each fellow will receive a $5,000 stipend and will work for at least ten weeks with a non-profit legal organization in Texas.

The fellowships are supported by a gift from Austin law firm Scott, Douglass & McConnico, L.L.P. in memory of Frank Douglass, ’58.

“Frank was passionate about three things: the practice of law and the men and women he worked with; helping law students; and ensuring legal services were available to those who could not afford them,” Scott, Douglass & McConnico partner Becky Miller said.

The following students will receive Frank Douglass Public Interest Summer Fellowships for work this summer:

  • Allyson Courter, ’11, will work for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Weslaco on the Bi-National Project on Domestic Violence. As an undergraduate, Courter served as a volunteer elementary teacher in Ecuador. She is currently a member of the Public Interest Law Association, and she participated in the Law School’s recent winter break pro bono trip to Mississippi.
  • Devon Helfmeyer, ’11, will work with the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin. As an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina, Helfmeyer founded the UNC-Asheville chapter of the ACLU and interned for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. At the Law School, he is a staff editor for the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.
  • Daniel Lenhoff, ’11, will work for the Texas Defender Service in Houston, assisting with capital defense in both trial and post-conviction habeas proceedings. As an undergraduate at Rice University he volunteered at an HIV/AIDS hospice and participated in medical service trips to Mexico and Haiti.
  • Meredith Shytles, ’11, will work for the Texas Advocacy Project in Austin, assisting victims of domestic violence proceed pro se. As an undergraduate at UT Austin, Shytles interned with Texas CASA. She has also volunteered for SafePlace and is a board member of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and participated in the Law School’s recent winter break pro bono trip to Mississippi.

“This generous gift, which increases access to justice and helps law students pursue careers in public interest law, is a very fitting tribute to Frank Douglass,” said Eden Harrington, Director of the Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, which administers the scholarships. “We are very grateful for the firm’s support.”

Related links:

Frank Douglass Public Interest Summer Fellowships

Scott, Douglass & McConnico

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law

Contact: Mary Crouter, (512) 232-7855, mcrouter@law.utexas.edu