Directory

Texas A & M University School of Law

Texas A & M University School of Law
1515 Commerce Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
www.tamu.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Rosalind Jeffers
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and
Director of the Equal Justice Program
1515 Commerce
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
P: (817) 212-4020
P: (817) 212-4199
E-mail

Category Type

Pro Bono Graduation Requirement Program

Description of Programs

Students are required to perform 30 hours of law-related pro bono service through the Equal Justice Program. They may fulfill the requirement at any point after their first-year of law school, including during school breaks.

The program's purpose is two-fold. First, it ensures that all students will have the opportunity to practice lawyering skills in a real-world setting before they graduate. Second, it imparts to students the importance of giving back to the community in recognition of the privileged status lawyers occupy.

The College of Law also encourages students to engage in pro bono service through its Public Interest Fellowship Program administered through the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director of the Equal Justice Programs. Information is shared about in-house pro bono projects and other pro bono opportunities on the web and through the Student Affairs Daily Headlines sent electronically.

Location of Programs

The Equal Justice Program is located on the law school campus and administered by the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

The Program is administered by the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of the Equal Justice Program with administrative support from Tyra C. Kelly, the Administrative Assistant.

A student-run Public Interest Law Fellowship serves in an advisory capacity to the program and raises funds for summer fellowships in public service organizations.

Funding

The Program is funded by a budget line of approximately $10,000. It is also funded through donations from community benefactors.

The law school provides office and storage space for pro bono group projects and provides access to email, facsimile machines and printing and mailing services to facilitate communication with the student body at large and with entities outside the law school. Outside donations are also sought to underwrite the summer fellowships.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

P.L.A.Y - Providing legal activities for youth is a student run program which provides legal education and mock trial experience for area school children. This program also includes the national Street Law Program which provides law-related education in a high-risk middle school.

Wesleyan Innocence Project - Student group that supports the national initiative of The Innocence Project and performs investigations on claims of actual innocence from prisoners.

Let Someone Know - Law students provide advanced directives to the community under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

National Adoption Day - Each November, students assist local attorneys to represent foster families who are adopting children. The students are involved in the case from the beginning, drafting and filing the initial applications for adoption, and participate in the final court hearing to finalize the adoptions.

Veteran's Court and Veteran's Clinic - Student participate in two community programs designed to assist veterans in the diversion court program for veterans with criminal legal charges as with the local bar association's initiative to assist veterans with civil legal problems.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

Faculty has not adopted a mandatory pro bono obligation for faculty. However, some faculty members perform pro bono legal services.

Awards/Recognition

At graduation, the dean of student affairs awards the Equal Justice Award to the graduate who has completed the most pro bono hours in excess of 100 hours. The student is awarded a plaque and his or her name is also engraved on a permanent plaque which remains in the law school.

In addition, a donor established the MacLean Boulware award to acknowledge a graduating student who has demonstrated a commitment to the law school and the community through service and involvement and shows promise to practice with high ethics.

Community Service

A wide variety of community projects are undertaken by students each year including a canned food drive and teddy bear drive. The Canned Food Drive and Teddy Bear Immunity projects, organized by our local chapter of Phi Delta Phi, enables the law school to donate canned goods to the needy and to place teddy bears into the hands of the Fort Worth Police Officers' Association, which, in turn, use the teddy bears to calm small children who have witnessed or been involved in violent crime. In both programs, students bring cans of food or teddy bears to class and, if called on, buy a pass by contributing cans or teddy bears.

The Student Bar Association instituted a relationship with the local Red Cross where students help raise money, collect food, and volunteer as needed. In addition, drives are undertaken to support the local domestic violence shelter. Students creatively design new initiatives each year to serve the community.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

None listed

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

None listed

Public Interest Centers

None listed

Public Interest Clinics

Law Clinic - Specializing in family law and social security disability, http://law.txwes.edu/CurrentStudents/ExperientialPrograms/LawClinic/tabid/224/Default.aspx

Externships/Internships

None listed

Classes with a Public Service Component

None listed

Public Interest Journals

None listed

PI Career Support Center

The career services office co-sponsors Public Service Career Day hosted and sponsored by the University of Texas School of Law. During Public Service Career Day, students have an opportunity to interview with public interest and government employers for available summer and permanent positions. Students can also network with and gather information from public interest organizations.

In addition, Equal Justice Day is an event presented by the law school's student services and career services office and is similar to a job fair. Over twenty local public interest employers are set up at table in our conference center and talk to students about working with their organization. Students can apply to work for these employers to fulfill their pro bono requirement prior to graduation or can apply to work with them during the summers and throughout the school year.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

None listed

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

A 2005 grant from the United Way expanded our Law Clinic to include Children's Rights which has continued to date. Our Law Clinic provides students the opportunity to earn class credit while representing indigent clients in domestic violence and social security disability cases under the direction of lawyers. With the grant, we were able to offer a clinical fellowship to two graduates.

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

Outside corporations have funded the Public Interest Law fellowship and efforts are ongoing to increase the base of funding for this program.

The Dallas Fort Worth Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel has been a long standing supporter through the Larry Margolies Pro Bono Fellowship fund.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Public Interest Law Week - Designed to expose the students to public interest opportunities, the week features information, ads, speakers, and free lunches to educate students about pro bono opportunities and public interest law in general. The highlight of the week is Equal Justice Day when the public service attorneys attend a forum to share information about their organizations and to explain opportunities for pro bono and public interest law.

Student Public Interest Groups

August 6, 2018