Mail us your
Registrar's Web Team
PREVIOUS FILE IN CHAPTER 1 | NEXT FILE IN CHAPTER 1
The Children's Rights Clinic and Criminal Defense Clinic are available in the fall semester, spring semester, and summer session. The Capital Punishment Clinic, Domestic Violence Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Juvenile Justice Clinic, and Elderlaw Clinic operate during the fall and spring semesters. The Mental Health Clinic and Housing Law Clinic are available in the spring semester only.
Capital Punishment Clinic. The Capital Punishment Clinic gives law students practical experience in capital litigation. Students are supervised by attorneys who represent indigent inmates on Texas' death row. Students review transcripts; interview clients; interview other potential witnesses, including jurors; identify and obtain social history records; and undertake other kinds of legal research and writing.
Students who take part in the clinic register for Law 278R, which focuses on the intricate doctrines that have developed since the Supreme Court "constitutionalized" capital punishment law. The clinic and other coursework expose students to both the theoretical and the practical sides of death penalty law.
Children's Rights Clinic. Texas law requires an attorney ad litem to be appointed to represent children in all cases in which the state or an authorized agency intervenes in an existing family unit. Most frequently this occurs in cases of alleged child abuse or neglect. Further, an attorney ad litem may be appointed for a child any time the court forms the opinion that the child's interest will not be fully represented by the attorneys for other parties to a lawsuit. These discretionary appointments are made in a variety of contexts, but especially in custody disputes between parents or other relatives. Finally, the legal status of all children in the custody of the state must be reviewed at least once every six months; local practice requires the appointment of an attorney ad litem in each review case.
The law school's Children's Rights Clinic (CRC) is appointed ad litem in most such cases in Travis County. Two full-time attorneys supervise students in the CRC; each student is assigned to several cases. In addition, a scheduled classroom component is designed to develop the substantive knowledge and procedural skills necessary for students to handle their caseloads.
Students who take part in the CRC in the fall or spring semester register for two sections of Law 397C; summer session participants register for Law 297C and 397C. All credit is awarded on the pass/fail basis. Students must have completed forty-three semester hours in law to be certified to appear in the trial court; there are no other prerequisites.
Criminal Defense Clinic. This program teaches students the tactics, skills, techniques, and values they need to represent those charged with violations of state law. The student handles cases at all stages of the criminal process from arrest to trial. Weekly readings and seminars complement the student's practical experiences. Clients are served from the Criminal Defense Clinic (CDC) offices at the School of Law.
Students who take part in this program in the fall or spring semester register for two sections of Law 397C; summer session participants register for Law 297C and 397C. All credit is awarded on the pass/fail basis. Students must have completed forty-three semester hours in law.
Domestic Violence Clinic. Students in this clinic represent victims of domestic violence in such areas as divorce, child custody and visitation, housing, consumer issues, public assistance, and procurement of complex protection orders. Classroom work introduces matters relevant to civil domestic violence cases: safety planning, intake, review of community resources, case logistics, and temporary orders. Case preparation and trial issues are also discussed. Students present their cases in class and discuss reforms that would help them provide stronger legal representation.
Students register for Law 397C and 397D. All credit is awarded on the pass/fail basis. Students must have completed forty-three semester hours in law.
Elderlaw Clinic. The Elderlaw Clinic is a joint project of the law school and the Legal Aid Society of Central Texas. The clinic gives students the opportunity to represent indigent senior citizens in the following areas: Medicare/Medicaid claims; Social Security appeals; consumer contracts and fraud; probate and estate planning; guardianship; and financial and physical abuse of the elderly. Clinic students are responsible for all phases of client representation, from interviewing prospective clients to investigating their cases, negotiating with opposing parties, and settling or litigating client claims.
In addition to their clinical work, students register for Law 497C. Weekly classes examine laws affecting the elderly and train students in the skills needed to represent indigent clients.
Housing Law Clinic. Students in this clinic represent, under the supervision of the instructors, low-income families and individuals in housing matters. Clients are referred by the Legal Aid Society of Central Texas, cosponsor of the clinic. Once a week, students meet to study housing law and to discuss the issues that arise in the representation of these clients.
Students register for Law 497C. All credit is awarded on the pass/fail basis. Participants must have completed at least forty-three semester hours in law.
Juvenile Justice Program. This clinic gives students litigation experience and an introduction to the juvenile justice system by placing them as interns with the local juvenile public defender. Clients are indigent juveniles, aged ten to seventeen, who are charged with criminal offenses ranging from Class B misdemeanors to first-degree felonies.
Students are assigned a caseload (four open cases at all times during the semester) for which they have primary responsibility under the supervision of an attorney in the public defender's office. They perform all investigation, interview, discovery, plea bargain, and litigation functions for these cases.
About ten to twelve hours a week are required for casework and for office duties in the defender's office. Academic background is provided by a class that meets daily for about three weeks at the beginning of the semester and two to three times a week thereafter.
Students register for Law 397C and 397D. All credit is awarded on the pass/fail basis. Students must have completed forty-three semester hours in law. Recommended background classes include criminal law and criminal procedure.
Mediation Clinic. In this clinic students mediate pending cases in the Justice of the Peace courts in Travis and surrounding counties. Through practical experience in the mediation process, students develop and refine the skills necessary for mediation and for problem solving in general.
To take part in the clinic, students must have completed Law 381S. During the clinic they take Law 397C. All credit is awarded on the pass/fail basis. Further academic background as well as skill enhancement is provided during the classroom component. Students are required to keep a journal and documentation of cases mediated.
Mental Health Clinic. Under faculty supervision, students in this clinic represent people confined in mental health facilities at civil commitment hearings before the Travis County Probate Court. Weekly class meetings are devoted to the substantive area of mental health law, instruction in trial advocacy, and case review. Several short written assignments are required, such as briefs and the preparation of cross examination.
Clinic students register for Law 397C and 397D on the pass/fail basis. Completion of at least forty-three semester hours in law is a prerequisite; preference is given to third-year students and those who have completed Law 283, 383, or 483.
The University of Texas Law School Foundation was established in 1952 by Charles I. Francis, Sylvan Lang, Angus G. Wynne, Hines Baker, Dan Moody, Robert E. Hardwicke, and Hugh Lamar Stone. They foresaw that private support would be needed to supplement state funding if the law school were to achieve its potential. Over the years, the foundation's role and significance have grown as its assets have increased. Today, the foundation maintains half of the endowments and privately-sponsored funds that support the law school. The law school's endowment is one of the largest in the nation. The foundation has recently established the goal of raising a substantial sum for Endowed Presidential Scholarships.
Officers and trustees of the foundation are
Founded in 1939, The University of Texas Law Alumni Association operates under the nonprofit status of the Law School Foundation. The primary purposes of the association are to raise funds for the law school, to strengthen the relationship between the law school and its alumni, and to assist the dean, the faculty, and the staff in their efforts to make the School of Law the best public law school in the nation.
The University and the Law School Foundation have adopted as one of their major objectives the development of endowment funds to be used to attract and retain eminent scholars and teachers for the law school. The income from these funds is used to supplement the salaries of distinguished professors and to provide research assistance and other logistical support. Faculty members who hold endowed chairs, professorships, and research professorships are identified in chapter 6. A complete list of chairs, professorships, fellowships, scholarships, and other funds is given in the appendix.