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February 8, 2010

Access to Justice Scholarship awarded to Adriana Rodriguez, ’11

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Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the Travis County Civil District Courts, National Association of Women Judges Scholarship Recipient Adriana Rodriguez, and Judge Elisabeth Earle of the Travis County Courts at Law

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On January 26, 2010, the School of Law hosted the Color of Justice program, during which a panel of judges answered questions from high school students. Left to right, Justice Dale Wainwright and Justice Eva Guzman of the Texas Supreme Court, Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the Travis County Civil District Courts, Judge Eric Shepperd and Judge Elisabeth Earle of the Travis County Courts at Law.

Adriana Rodriguez, a second year student at the University of Texas School of Law, is the 2010 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.

Rodriguez interns with the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid consumer team in Austin and is active in Street Law, the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy, the Domestic Violence Survivors Support Network, and the UT Law Chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. She also recently participated in the UT Law Pro Bono in January trip to the Rio Grande Valley. Originally from Laredo, Rodriguez graduated from Rice University in 2006. Before coming to law school, she served with Teach for America for two years teaching high school English in Houston. Last summer she interned in Laredo with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen, ’61. After law school she hopes to return to Laredo to pursue a career in public interest law.

Rodriguez received the scholarship on January 26, 2010, 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. Rodriguez addressed the assembled high school students about her path from Laredo to Rice University to law school, her experience with Teach for America, and her desire to use the law to address the problems faced by her former students.

Judge Orlinda Naranjo of the Travis County Civil District Courts presented the scholarship. Justice Dale Wainwright and Justice Eva Guzman of the Texas Supreme Court, Judge Elisabeth Earle and Judge Eric Shepperd, ’85, of the Travis County Courts at Law, and UT Law’s Professor Norma Cantu also participated in the program, which was jointly sponsored by the National Association of Women Judges, the Travis County Women Lawyers Association, UT Law’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, Winstead PC, and Clark, Thomas & Winters, PC.

Rodriguez was selected by a committee that included National Association of Women Judges members Judge Naranjo and Judge Marisela Saldaña of the Nueces County District Courts; Beth Youngdale and Mary Crouter of UT Law; and Travis County Women Lawyers Association board member Elizabeth Branch, who also organized the 2010 Color of Justice program.

Contact:
Mary Crouter, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, 512-232-7855, mcrouter@law.utexas.edu