AUSTIN, Texas―The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at The University of Texas School of Law has awarded Kathrine Russell, '08, the Law School's first Equal Justice Scholarship.
The scholarship was developed by the Law School in partnership with Baylor University School of Law and the Texas Access to Justice Commission. It is a landmark initiative that gives, as former Law School Dean and UT President Bill Powers said, "critical support to students who plan careers in public interest law."
The purpose of the Equal Justice Scholarship is to help increase access to justice in Texas by supporting recipients' work in the public interest during law school and upon graduation. Russell has committed to working full-time for three years at a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization engaged in providing civil legal services to the underserved in Texas after graduation.
"This program is important because it makes it possible for outstanding new lawyers to devote themselves to public service without the burden of crushing educational debt," said Eden Harrington, Director of the William Wayne Justice Center. "Kathrine was selected to receive the first scholarship because of her impressive record of commitment to equality and access to justice for all."
Prior to entering law school, Russell conducted research involving immigrant and refugee rights at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law of Texas. She also was a program coordinator at Harlem Community Resource Center, providing low income patients with information on food, job training, child care, legal services and health care. At the Law School, Russell is a first year representative of Texas Law Fellowships (TLF). She is a graduate of Columbia University.
The William Wayne Justice Center has committed to award three Equal Justice Scholarships over three years. Baylor University School of Law committed to award Equal Justice Scholarships in 2005 and 2007.
The William Wayne Justice Center is dedicated to promoting equal justice for all through legal education. The Justice Center works toward this goal by educating students and attorneys about public interest issues through conferences, research projects, and clinical courses; by encouraging all students to participate in pro bono and public interest law throughout their careers; and by creating public service opportunities for students and graduates.