Fourteen law students from around the country have been selected to participate in the Access to Justice Summer Internship Program sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Commission, in partnership with six Texas legal aid providers. The program encourages students to help address the civil legal problems of underserved individuals and communities, and to educate future attorneys about those problems.
The Access to Justice Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for law students to participate in an internship with nonprofit providers of civil legal services located in areas without a local law school. The program particularly benefits rural and underserved parts of Texas that receive much needed help in the delivery of legal aid for low-income Texans.
Students Selected to Participate in Program
The students, their law school, and the legal aid organization where they will be interning are as follows:
- Lee Roy Calderon, Baylor Law School, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Edinburg
- Brittany Cravens, Baylor Law School, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, Waxahachie
- Brittany Wray, Baylor Law School, Lone Star Legal Aid, Angleton
- Wendi Whipkey, Florida Coastal School of Law, Lone Star Legal Aid, Nacogdoches
- Erin Kee, South Texas College of Law, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Eagle Pass
- Jason Garcia, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Corpus Christi
- Colleen Lowry, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Weslaco
- Markita Samuel, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project, El Paso
- Vanessa Smithwick, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Corpus Christi
- James Palomo, Texas Tech University School of Law, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, Plainview
- Paul G. Thomas III, University of Houston Law Center, Lone Star Legal Aid, Galveston
- Nakis Urfi, University of Houston Law Center, Lone Star Legal Aid, Nacogdoches
- April Kirkendall, University of Nebraska College of Law, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Laredo
- Adriana Bole, University of Texas School of Law, Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project, El Paso
About the Internships
Each law student will receive hands-on training by working with accomplished lawyers and providing direct legal services to low-income clients, while learning about access to justice matters, legal decision-making, advocacy skills, attorney-client relationships and legal institutions. A supervising attorney will provide the law student with a variety of experiences and assignments, including significant research and writing.
The internships are open to law school students attending law school throughout the country. A stipend is provided to each student to help defray living expenses, and students must commit to a 10-week placement.
About the Texas Access to Justice Commission
The Supreme Court of Texas created the Texas Access to Justice Commission in 2001 to increase services for people who need legal help but may not be able to afford it or find it. The Commission’s goals include reducing barriers to the justice system and increasing resources and funding for legal aid.
One legal aid lawyer is available for approximately every 10,838 Texans who qualify. To be eligible for legal aid, an individual must earn no more than $13,613 a year. For a family of four, the household income cannot exceed $27,938.
For more information, please visit www.TexasATJ.org.