The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded a $23,600 grant to support UNT Dallas College of Law’s two new community lawyering centers.
The money, given for a one-year period as of April 22, will support the creation of the centers located in downtown Dallas and in the Frazier-Fair Park community in the south part of the city.
The centers—a partnership between the college, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office, Legal Action Works, and the Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center—will be staffed by law students from the school and supervising attorneys.
Their purpose is to bring legal aid into underserved neighborhoods in hopes of improving access for those who need the services most, offering daytime, evening, and Saturday appointments.
“We understand that our clients may not be able to take off from work,” UNT Dallas College of Law Professor Cheryl Wattley said in a news release following the centers’ announcement in April. “They should not have to choose between earning money for their families and having access to legal representation.”
The Texas Bar Foundation, which is celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2015-2016, has awarded more than $16 million in grants to law-related programs since its inception.