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University of Texas at Austin School of Law

University of Texas at Austin School of Law
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Andrea Marsh
Director, Mithoff Pro Bono Program
[email protected]
(512) 232-6170

Sarah Sedgwick
Pro Bono Administrator
[email protected]
(512) 232-1989

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator

Description of Programs

The vision for The University of Texas School of Law's Mithoff Pro Bono Program (MPBP) is that students will engage in pro bono work to increase access to justice, build their professional skills, and develop an interest in providing legal services to those in need.

The MPBP supports this vision by working with bar groups, legal service providers, pro bono attorneys, and the law school community to:

  • Develop a wide range of opportunities for students to engage in pro bono work;
  • Increase the delivery of needed legal services to low-income individuals and communities;
  • Create pro bono projects that allow students to build lawyering skills and career networks through hands-on experience; and
  • Cultivate a commitment to pro bono within the law school community.

Location of Programs

The Mithoff Pro Bono Program is a project of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law within the law school.


The Mithoff Pro Bono Program is staffed by three full-time employees - director, staff attorney, and project coordinator. It also provides scholarships to more than twenty upper-level students per year to help administer and lead specific projects. The director is responsible for the policy and management decisions for the program, and both the director and the staff attorney are involved in developing and overseeing projects, working with student and attorney volunteers, and interfacing with the law school community, legal services providers, bar groups and members of the private bar.

The program coordinator maintains the program’s data and handles all administrative functions of the program.


The Mithoff Pro Bono Program is a part of the Justice Center, and there are several dedicated funds to support pro bono activities. Texas Law also devotes considerable resources for the program. The Justice Center actively seeks additional financial support on an ongoing basis to support and expand the MPBP.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

The Mithoff Pro Bono Program selects and works with more than twenty students per year on “in house” pro bono projects, and provides support for other student-run pro bono projects.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

While the Mithoff Pro Bono Program does not currently track the pro bono service of its faculty and staff, many members of the Texas Law faculty and staff engage in pro bono work throughout the year. This includes working alongside students on pro bono projects, helping nonprofits and legal service organizations with legal issues, and directly representing clients.


Texas Law Fellowships, a student organization, presents annual Excellence in Public Interest Awards to students, faculty, and attorneys at a reception each spring.

The Justice Center presents annual awards in recognition of outstanding pro bono and public service work to graduating students each spring

Community Service

The Student Affairs Office encourages student organizations to engage in community service, often as part of the school’s “student society program.” Community service is a regular part of the activities of many student organizations.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Eden Harrington, Director
William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law
[email protected]
(512) 232-7068

Mary Crouter, Assistant Director
William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law
[email protected](512) 232-7855

Abbey Fowler
Government Career Counselor
Career Services Office
[email protected]

Mary Murphy
Public Interest and Public Defense Counselor
Career Services Office
[email protected]

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Texas Law does not offer specializations but participates in university-wide interdisciplinary graduate portfolio programs in dispute resolution and nonprofit studies.

Public Interest Centers

Texas Law has a number of academic centers that bring together faculty, students and outside experts to study public interest issues.

Bech-Laughlin First Amendment Center -

Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice  -

Capital Punishment Center

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law  -

Public Interest Clinics

Texas Law has a large clinical programs with fifteen separate clinics focused exclusively on public interest issues.

Actual Innocence Clinic  – Students investigate claims by inmates that they are actually innocent of the offenses for which they are incarcerated.

Capital Punishment Clinic  – Students assist in the representation of indigent defendants charged with or convicted of capital offenses.

Children's Rights Clinic  – Students represent children as attorneys ad litem in cases where the state seeks custody or termination of parental rights.

Civil Rights Clinic – Student represent low-income clients in a range of civil rights matters.

Criminal Defense Clinic  – Students represent indigent defendants charged with misdemeanors.

Domestic Violence Clinic – Students represent victims of domestic violence with a variety of civil legal problems.

Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic  – Students represent nonprofit organizations and individuals involved in community development and economic development in low-income communities.

Environmental Clinic  – Students work with low-income communities on projects to improve environmental quality.

Housing Clinic  – Students represent low-income families in their housing-related legal problems.

Human Rights Clinic  – An interdisciplinary group of law students and graduate students work on human rights cases and projects.

Immigration Clinic  – Students represent low-income immigrants before the immigration courts and the Department of Homeland Security.

Juvenile Justice Clinic  – Students represent indigent juveniles charged with a range of criminal offenses.

Law and Religion Clinic – Students represent individuals and groups of all faiths who face challenges to their religious liberty.

Supreme Court Clinic – Students assist in representing clients who are seeking review of lower court decisions or who have cases before the Supreme Court following grants of certiorari.

Transnational Worker Rights Clinic – Students represent low-income immigrant workers to recover unpaid wages and advocate for worker rights.


Texas Law has an extensive field placement program, with seven separate courses regularly offered (and other courses occasionally offered):

  • Federal Public Defender Internship – placements at the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Austin
  • International Internship – placements at international courts, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations
  • Judicial Internship - placements at state appellate courts and federal courts
  • Legislative Internship - placements at the Texas Legislature in Austin
  • Nonprofit Internship - placements at nonprofit organizations
  • Government Internship – placements at government agencies
  • Prosecution Internship - placements at the Travis County District Attorney's Office
  • Semester in Practice Internship – placements at nonprofit, government, and legislative offices
  • U.S. Attorney Internship - placements at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Austin

Classes with a Public Service Component

Texas Law offers an ever-changing assortment of courses each semester, some of which have a public service component although they are not classified as clinics or internships. Students and faculty in such courses typically partner with courts, government agencies or nonprofit organizations to conduct research, draft reports, and develop policy recommendations.

Public Interest Journals

Texas Environmental Law Journal,

Texas Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy,

Texas International Law Journal,

Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights,

PI Career Support Center

The Texas Law Career Services Office (CSO; supports students interested in public service careers by informing them of career options, providing job search strategies and resources, and connecting them with potential employers. With experienced counselors, including two dedicated to public service careers (public interest and government), the CSO offers one-on-one career counseling, organizes on-campus and off-campus job fairs, sponsors resume workshops, invites speakers to address students on public service career-related topics, publishes resource materials, and coordinates a variety of programming for students seeking careers in public service.

The CSO also provides opportunities for students to network with other public service-minded students and employers. In the fall, the CSO hosts the Public Service Expo Representatives from dozens of public interest organizations, as well as federal, state and local government agencies come to Texas Law and host informational tables, which provide an opportunity for students to network and find out about volunteer opportunities, summer internships and postgraduate positions. The CSO also hosts other events throughout the year to provide opportunities for students to network and to highlight public service career paths, like the Public Service Table Talk

Each spring, the CSO hosts the Public Service Career Fair (, the largest public service legal job fair in Texas. During the two-day fair, public interest and government employers conduct interviews for paid and unpaid summer and permanent positions. Employers may request to interview students and/or alumni up to one year after graduation from all participating Texas law schools.

Student career exploration is further supported through a number of public service career resources the CSO provides, which include a Texas Law Public Service Listserv, through which members receive daily e-mails regarding public service law events and job opportunities; PSLawNet, a national database of public service jobs, employers and career resources; extensive government and public interest career path Web sites, which detail information relevant to the public sector job search and include links to various resources and the CSO Resource Library, which houses numerous publications regarding public interest and government careers.

The CSO also provides students with information regarding a wide array of funding sources and opportunities including postgraduate fellowships.

The CSO developed and hosts the Long Career Launch Program, a public service internship program for Texas Law graduates. The LCLP is designed to make it financially possible for recent graduates to obtain legal work experience while awaiting bar results. Graduates who are selected to participate in the program receive a stipend for unpaid legal internship with a government agency or nonprofit organization.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

The Texas Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program provides financial assistance to graduating students with educational debt who enter qualifying public service. Texas Law places a high value on working for the good of society, and the LRAP is designed to make it affordable for our graduates to choose to accept public service employment.

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

Chris Marshall Endowed Presidential Scholarship  - Supports students interested in public interest careers in Texas.

Equal Justice Scholarship  – Provides full tuition and fees for three years to an entering student with strong academic credentials, demonstrated commitment to public service, and a specific intent to serve low-income individuals or groups following graduation. The scholarship recipient must commit to working after law school full-time for three years providing direct legal services to low-income individuals or groups at a U.S. nonprofit.

Human Rights Scholars Program  – The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice sponsors scholarships for students interested in working in and studying human rights.

Public Service Scholars Program  – The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law sponsors scholarships to support public service-oriented students.

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded

Other Funding Sources:

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

The law school is launching a new program, the Summer Public Service Program, in 2022 to provide a guaranteed stipend ($5000) for students working in full-time unpaid positions in the public sector during the summer. More information about this program will be available on the school’s website in the fall of 2021. 


Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

There are extensive extracurricular and co-curricular activities at Texas Law focused on public interest issues. Nearly every week there are public interest conferences, lectures, panel discussions, symposia, special classes, pro bono activities and community service projects. Student organizations, academic centers, clinics, faculty and the school administration all participate in developing public interest activities. Information about many of these activities is available on the Law School website.

Student Public Interest Groups

Environmental Law Society

Getting Radical In The South (GRITS)

Human Rights Law Society

If/When/How Texas Law

Law Students for Black Lives

Pro Bono in January

Public Defense Group

Public Interest Law Association

Texas Law Art Association

Texas Law Fellowships