Spring Pledge Drive

TLF’s 2013 Spring Pledge Drive begins today and will continue through Friday, March 22! You can donate at the pledge drive table in the atrium, or online by clicking here. For more information about this year’s potential fellows, read on.

What your money buys.

The money raised by TLF goes straight to funding public interest fellowships.  Each dollar you donate helps three sets of people: A worthy public interest organization gets help it desperately needs; people who can’t afford legal services get free assistance; and UT Law students get valuable real-world legal experience in a tough legal market.

Who gets the fellowships.

After we identify how many fellowships are available, we sort the candidates by the number of votes received. Two thirds of all fellowships are awarded by membership vote. A committee selects the remaining one third of fellowship recipients based on each applicant’s commitment to public service.  We then grant as many fellowships as we can, awarding them based on voting results.

 2013 TLF Candidates

Attorney General of Texas—Shared Parenting Program • Sarah Bryant, 2L

Parents without access to legal counsel are often given default possession orders that are not appropriate for their family arrangement.  My internship will focus on improving support systems for Texas children in two ways: first, by working to bring parents into compliance with appropriate possession orders through issue identification, negotiation, and pro se coaching; second, by drafting “self-help” information so that all families are given the tools they need to advocate for themselves.


Catholic Charities • Alexandra Gutierrez, 1L

This summer I’ll be working for Catholic Charities, an organization that helps immigrants become naturalized citizens, or residents. As an intern, I’ll be interviewing clients from all walks of life in preparation to compile their case file. I’ll then be collecting evidence, composing declarations, and procuring relevant state records to include in those files. Finally, I’ll send their file to the Government so that spouses, siblings, parents, or children can call themselves American citizens.


Congressman Beto O’Rourke • Ana Martinez, 1L

I will be a legislative intern for Congressman O’Rourke’s 16th District Office in Washington, DC.  My duties will include conducting research on the Congressman’s top legislative issues, writing memos, and attending congressional briefings and hearings.  Currently, the 16th District Office is working on sponsoring and drafting legislation dealing with issues that include immigration reform, veteran affairs, energy and the environment, and national security.  One of my main tasks will be to conduct legal research on immigration and the US/Mexican border.


Cook County Public Guardian’s Office • Marsha Perez, 2L

Cook County Public Guardian’s Office in Chicago is the only law office of its kind, representing disadvantaged children in various capacities. As a Juvenile Division intern, I will receive formal training on interviewing child clients, as well as practical experience assisting attorneys in advocating for children/youth in Cook County’s juvenile court.  The second portion of the summer, I will assist Texas Advocacy Project, in helping to provide free legal services statewide to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.


Disability Rights Texas • Karly Peterson, 1L

Disability Rights Texas is a federally designated organization dedicated to the legal protection and advocacy of people living with disabilities in Texas. This summer, I will work with the organization to provide direct legal assistance to qualified individuals and groups, advance public policies that promote and expand the rights of people with disabilities, and educate individuals and their families about their rights and resources. My particular service priorities will include accessibility, education, employment, health care, and housing rights.


Disability Rights Texas • Tyler Rutherford, 2L

Disability Rights Texas helps disabled Texans assert and defend their legal rights. My job will involve representing clients is the areas of employment, housing, health care, special education, foster care, and access to community supports and services. The character of a society ought to be judged by how it treats those citizens with the least advantage; with your support, I will serve those facing discrimination, neglect, and abuse but without the resources to otherwise obtain legal assistance.


Disability Rights Texas • Rikka Strong, 1L

Disability Rights Texas advocates for people with a broad range of disabilities including developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, mental illnesses and emotional impairments.   Disability Rights Texas operates on the basic truth that all people have dignity and worth.  This summer, I will conduct legal research and writing, draft pleadings, and attend court hearings pertaining to issues including employment and housing discrimination, special education, foster care, healthcare, and access to community supports and services for people with disabilities.


Environment Texas Research and Policy Center • Jeavon Ehler, 2L

I will be working for the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center to help create tangible results for our environment. There is something special about the Texas Environment. Whether it is swimming at Barton Springs or hiking through Big Bend National park, there is something worth protecting and preserving for future generations. I am excited to be working with such a dedicated and passionate group of individuals this coming summer.


Federal Communications Commission—Office of Inspector General • Kristen Monkhouse, 2L

I will work for the Federal Communications Commission Office of Inspector General in Washington D.C.  The Office investigates claims of fraud, waste, and abuse in FCC programs and operations, which generally serves as the regulatory agency of our nation’s communications systems including radio, telephone, and cable.  I will be a part of an investigative team and will likely be doing a lot of document review as well as trial prep and legal research on the claims presented to the Office.


Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Northern District of Texas • Philip Harris, 2L

I will be working for the appellate division of the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.  I will be assisting an attorney in the office’s goal to provide effective counsel to federal defendants who cannot afford their own representation.  Specifically working with an appellate attorney I will work on briefs, conduct oral argument prep, and also assist at other stages of defense, including pretrial, trial and sentencing.


Harris County District Attorney • Kenneth Bier, 2L

I will be working for the Harris County DA’s Office in Houston over the summer. The type of work I expect to perform includes legal research and writing, trial preparation, victim/witness communications, and other matters involving the prosecution of criminal offenses.


Harris County District Attorney • Stephanie  Matherne , 2L

I will be spending my summer with the District Attorney in Harris County (Houston). Specifically, I will be working with prosecutors in the Family Criminal Law Division or the Child Abuse Division. I will be working with prosecutors to get justice and closure for survivors of abuse. My work will cover the spectrum of the prosecutorial process, and I will be assisting the ADAs with everything from investigation to trial preparation to actual litigation.


Harris County District Attorney • Sage Stone, 2L

Harris County, home to over four million people, is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office handles criminal cases and sponsors a variety of community initiatives to promote safety in the county.  This summer I will assist prosecutors by interviewing victims and witnesses, conducting legal research, and preparing cases for trial. I am looking forward to learning from both the prosecutors and also the victims and witnesses I will assist.


International Justice Mission • Joey Piorkowski, 1L

International Justice Mission (IJM): I have the unique opportunity to join a team of IJM attorneys in Southeast Asia (specifically Cebu, the Philippines) to help protect clients from sex trafficking, child prostitution, and unprosecuted rape.  In addition to assisting the attorneys in prosecuting the perpetrators, I will work with law enforcement investigators and after-care workers to aid in the rescue and rehabilitation of victims.


Knox County Public Defender—Community Law Office • Sara Schaefer, 2L

I will be working for the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office in Knoxville, TN. The office is a pioneer in holistic public defense, a model that works to address systemic and personal issues that contribute to a criminal charge. Besides providing zealous legal advocacy, the office provides comprehensive social services and helps the client navigate other community agencies. I am assigned to the DUI unit, where I will represent clients in court under supervision and complete legal research.


Texas Civil Rights Project • Jessica Johnson, 1L

This summer I have the privilege of clerking for Texas Civil Rights Project, a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase access to justice to underserved communities. TCRP focuses on the broader concepts of social, racial and economic justice as well as narrower issues such as  disability discrimination and free expression.  I will have some hands-on responsibilities such as investigation and client contact in addition to legal writing and research regarding some of the aforementioned topics. I’m looking forward to it!


Texas State Pharmacy Board, Texas Education Agency • Lia Powers, 2L

My legal work at the Texas State Pharmacy Board and the Texas Education Agency (assessing the legal sufficiency of complaints, researching legal issues and drafting allegations) will protect the interests of Texans and continue my history of public service. TSPB and TEA protect the public from practitioners who do not adhere to agency regulations. For example, TSPB attorneys protect the public health by bringing cases against pharmacies, doctors, and others who fail to follow laws regulating pharmaceuticals.


United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California • Christopher Larson, 1L

US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California – Civil Division.  As a summer law clerk, I will have the opportunity to work with Assistant US Attorneys in Los Angeles, providing legal research in preparation for both affirmative and defensive suits at the trial and appellate level on a broad range of civil litigation areas, including defense contractor and health care fraud, immigration, bankruptcy, employment discrimination, and Constitutional tort cases.


United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas • Willis Chambers, 2L

I will be interning with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, likely working with prosecutors in the Major Crimes Division, specifically on issues of human trafficking in conjunction with the Human Trafficking  Rescue Alliance.


United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas • Nikki Lockhart, 1L

I am working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Houston in the Public Corruption criminal section. I will be assisting Assistant U.S. Attorney’s in all aspects of their work including legal research, writing, trial and witness preparation, and all other aspects of their day to day work.


United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas • Chen Zhang, 1L

I will be working as a volunteer legal intern in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, located in Houston. I have been tentatively assigned to the frauds section, which handles the prosecution of white collar crimes. I expect to be engaged in both research and writing as well as the various phases of litigation. I hope to participate in trial and witness preparation, observe court proceedings, attend depositions and mediations, and the like.


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services • Karen Baker, 2L

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency that administers a variety of programs and procedures for lawful immigration to the country. Activities include reviewing and processing asylum applications through the agency’s humanitarian program, overseeing the naturalization process for those wishing to become citizens, and helping immigrants obtain work permits. As an intern, I will develop a thorough understanding of how USCIS operates, how immigration benefits are obtained, and how immigration policy is implemented.


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services • Andrea Meza, 1L

I will be working as a clerk with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the San Antonio field office. I will complete various reading assignments, research projects, and writing assignments designed to augment my knowledge of immigration law.  In addition I will meet officials representing various government agencies that are part of the immigration process, and experience the different functions of the field office by attending events such as Naturalization Ceremonies and meetings with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.


United States Department of Energy—Office of the General Counsel • James Babikian, 1L

The Litigation and Enforcement Division of U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of the General Counsel represents the U.S. government in cases involving federal energy laws and regulations, or DOE operations such as those at Los Alamos National Laboratory.   As an intern, I will have the opportunity to assist DOE attorneys with drafting litigation materials needed to enforce energy-efficiency standards in federal court. Moreover, I will also assist DOE attorneys in researching and preparing for lawsuits against the United States.


United States Department of Energy—Office of the General Counsel • Lindsay Blumenthal, 2L

I will be working in the Office of the General Counsel at the United States Department of Energy. The Office of the General Counsel provides legal counsel and advice to the Secretary and program offices in order to further the Department’s mission of ensuring the national, economic, and energy security of the United States through innovative technological solutions to contemporary energy and environmental challenges.


United States Department of Justice—Disability Rights Section • Julia Quinn, 2L

The Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities and guarantees equal opportunity in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.  As an intern, I will assist DRS in investigating allegations of discrimination against individuals with disabilities in violation of the ADA, conduct legal research, and prepare legal memoranda and briefs.


United States Department of State—Bureau of Legislative Affairs • Julie  Crocker, 2L

I will be working for the United States Department of State in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs. The United States Department of State is the diplomatic arm of the United States of America and seeks to advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world. The Bureau of Legislative Affairs coordinates the legislative activities to achieve the Department’s legislative priorities.


Washington Defender Association • Nora Gay, 1L

I will be interning with the Washington Defender Association, an organization devoted to improving the quality of indigent defense and increasing funding for public defense. Through WDA, I will also likely work with the Washington State Bar Association, the Innocence Network, the Innocence Project Northwest, and the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. My work will focus on the potential fallibility of cross-racial eyewitness identification, ideally resulting in the submission of pattern jury instructions to the state bar for approval.

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