Semester / Year Applying
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|Statement of Interest (400-600 words)||Editing Results||Dietary Restrictions|
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|Editing Exercise||Statement of Interest||Resume|
If you are extended an offer for a staff-editing or an associate-editing position that you applied to as part of this application, do you agree to accept that offer if you are selected?
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|9/7/2018 18:57:54||Nicolas Sawyer||Fall 2018|
My interest in civil rights started from a very young age. I grew up volunteering for my father and stepmother’s nonprofit, called Hope for Miami, which serves primarily youth of color in South Florida. I first witnessed the impacts of mass incarceration on family members by working directly with these kids (many with incarcerated parents): from teaching them acting, to accompanying them when they visited their imprisoned parents, to interviewing them about their personal stories. In college, I drew from my linguistics background to do research on the disparity in demographic representation in Hollywood films by writing a program in Python that analyzes characters’ actions in screenplays (which I also love to write myself, by the way). After college, I worked for a political organizing coalition that fights for the rights of workers in Orlando. We represented groups like the City of Orlando bus drivers and Orange County teachers unions on issues like health care and pension negotiations. I’ve also worked as the program director for a scholarship that grants high-achieving, low-income students professional college admissions advisement from volunteer independent educational consultants.
In 2016, when I first moved to the Deep South, I was applying for a visual anthropology MA program. Armed with a DSLR and VideoMic Pro, I documented the local Black Lives Matter movement in North Carolina. But I was quickly drawn into civil rights work, and within a few weeks, I turned from an observer into a participant. Within four months, I found myself standing arm-in-arm in a crowd of activists during the Charlotte Uprising following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, surrounded by riot gear police and the National Guard demanding criminal justice reform. I remember chanting and marching past the towering Mecklenburg County Jail to see the longs rows of rectangular cell windows. Dozens of cell lights began to flicker. The inmates seemed to be telling us that they knew we were out there fighting for their rights. As a documentarian and organizer in Asheville and Charlotte, I worked deeply within anarchist circles to execute and document acts of civil disobedience, like police station sit-ins, demonstrations outside the homes of city officials, and road blockades. I not only learned that water-based sunscreen is preferable to oil-based sunscreen (it’s easier to clean out of your eyes), I decided I wanted to dedicate my life to concrete, practical approaches to criminal justice reform through law and advocacy insteading of pursuing visual anthropology.
At Texas Law, I hope to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to bring criminal justice reform to Texas and the South. This semester, I plan on participating in the Expunction Clinic as often as I can. In the following two years, I hope to take the Civil Rights Clinic and the Capital Defense Clinic in order to advocate on behalf of those incarcerated or those impacted by police misconduct. After graduating from Texas Law, I hope to draw from my research and legal background to secure a position working for an organization like the ACLU on impact litigation cases. Through my participation on the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, I hope to gain skills in legal citation and writing that will not only help me towards my future goals as a legal researcher, but will help better the academic quality of literature coming out of this journal.
|9/9/2018 20:58:56||Eden Klein||Fall firstname.lastname@example.org||9152270043||NA||NA||2020||Growing up in a family riddled with abuse, mental health issues, and addiction, I
did not see the pretty side of life initially. But in the shadow of adversity, I grew a spirit
of advocacy because I needed to be there for my brothers and sister, of ambition because
I wanted to break the cycle of abuse and addiction, and of compassion because I had
sympathy for all who had experiences like mine or similar to mine. My childhood
experiences are the reasons why I want to work in public service and advocacy post-law
school and, really, the reason I went to law school in the first place.
For three years, I have been a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), where
I advocate for children’s rights every day. In this role, I am given the opportunity to help
a vulnerable group of people, and to make sure they are being treated fairly and without
abuse in all areas of their life (academic, mental, medical, legal, social, etc.). I have been
able to help three children be adopted, and only have one left on my case that is on the
hopeful road to adoption. This position has cemented my desire to advocate for all
vulnerable people. Doing this work in a border region also has led to me see first hand
how the legal system is set up to create barriers, not bridges, to success for people of
color – especially children of color. This must change, and there are many steps to get to that change.
Living and growing up in a border region, I also had the opportunity to work at a
non-profit devoted to serving the legal needs of low-income immigrants. At this nonprofit,
I worked predominantly with asylum cases, so I worked with many immigrants
from Central America. In addition to my work at this non-profit, I too have had my
interactions with the immigration system. When I was just 9 years old, my stepbrother
had his green card revoked at the border. From that time to now, I have only been able to
see him about four times. These experiences have additionally lit a fire inside of me to
These are just mere examples of experiences I have had that have sparked
passions inside of me to help. Although I have specific areas of passion near and dear to
my heart, all vulnerable populations need help, and help is what I hope to give, during
law school and after. Working on the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Journal would give me an insight into the legal academia side of civil rights. I feel this
would be a valuable insight to have when I venture into the world after law school to
advocate for the most vulnerable populations. I would also offer the perspective of
someone who grew up in a border town, with a mixed cultural family, and with a variety
of background experiences. I have a strong personality, that is motivated, willing to work
hard, learn new things, help others, and rise to any challenge. It would be an opportunity I
am grateful for, and will not take lightly, if I am offered a position on the journal. Thank
|9/11/2018 19:54:36||Nat Fine||Fall email@example.com||3035481572||2020|
My interest in civil liberties and civil rights stems from my experiences both during and prior to law school. Before I moved to Texas, I held several volunteer and paid positions that introduced me to criminal justice advocacy. As an undergrad, I was a writing tutor for men enrolled in college courses at a prison. After graduation, I was employed as a staff member of a reentry program based out of Rikers Island. Following that, I was a paralegal at the Innocence Project in New York. Each of these positions exposed me to the ways in which the legal system constrains the rights of those who have been arrested, even if they ultimately are never convicted. These jobs, and the injustices they showed me, motivated me to attend law school in order to become a public defender. As a student at UT, I am involved in the Expunction Project, the Capital Punishment Clinic, and Getting Radical in the South. This year I am working with the Mithoff Pro Bono program to implement a new student-run clinic providing case assistance to people who are coming up for parole in Texas. My involvement in these activities has enabled me to get out of the law-school bubble and gain actual client-centered experience. They have also shown me some of the particular civil rights concerns endemic to working in the South. During my 1L summer, I interned in the Salida office of the Colorado Public Defender; one of the most valuable cases I worked on centered around the sex offender registry and its harsh restrictions. I am interested in becoming a part of TJCLCR because it provides a platform for leading legal analysis of many of the issues I have come to care deeply about as I prepare for a career as a public defender. In addition to my interest in the articles published by TJCLCR, I look forward to being involved with its annual conference. Civil liberties and civil rights are entirely intertwined with contact with police, prisons, parole, probation, and the collateral consequences of convictions. Becoming part of the staff of TJCLCR will improve my legal writing and research skills, but more importantly, it will give me the opportunity to edit notes and articles by some of the leading voices in these fields. I look forward to being a part of this journal and helping to contribute to scholarship on civil liberties and civil rights.
|9/9/2018 11:14:31||Julia Wang||Fall firstname.lastname@example.org||214-918-9199||3.17||2020|
In eighth grade, my interest in social justice began when I read The Innocent Man by John Grisham. The book introduced me to the flaws of the U.S. justice system, and I learned that “guilty until proven innocent” was a reality. I became more interested in the disparate treatment of black minorities in the justice system and during my first year of college, I took a course titled The Politics of Black Identity. It opened my eyes to the harsh reality of institutionalized racism, and I knew I had to do my part to fight against it. Believing that failures in the education system were key factors in fueling the school-to-prison pipeline, I joined Teach for America and sought to find my role in working against the system as an educator. My goal was to empower my students with the knowledge of the same complexities of racial politics and injustices that I was deeply passionate about. I wanted my students to understand how the system was working against their favor and give them the confidence to believe they could fight against it. I realized my capacity as a high school teacher was not enough to right the wrongs of those currently persecuted, and that is why I left the profession for law school.
This past summer, I worked for Texas Fair Defense Project (TFDP), a non-profit legal organization that focuses on challenging modern-day debtor’s prisons and pushing for pretrial reforms through impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and education. During my internship, I researched whether claims could be made against other counties in Texas that were engaged in unconstitutional court practices. After witnessing questionable court proceedings, interviewing clients, and staying involved in TFDP’s litigation against Harris and Dallas County, low-income minorities are treated unfairly from the moment they are charged with an offense to their sentencing. Working at TFDP solidified the fact that it is crucial that low-income minorities receive quality representation.
|9/12/2018 21:03:43||Yang Guo||fall 2018|
I am originally from China. Learning he legal theory of civil rights and help the democratization of China is the main reason I went to law school. When I was in college, I took courses in various areas to broaden my perspective and discovered that law courses were especially inspiring to me. After taking those courses, I realized that the law is an effective tool to uphold justice and change society and that the law should be equal to all. However, China already has a legal system; why is it not working as it should? This question continued to puzzle me for many years.
China has a civil law system and a constitution that stipulates jurisdiction independence and freedom of speech. However, everyone, from the senior government official to ordinary people, believes that laws are nothing but lengthy and useless doctrines and it is other hidden rules that actually control the country. Here is the deadlock troubling the Chinese legal system: because the laws do not uphold justice, people do not believe in laws; because people do not believe in laws, few people try to change the current situation, making the laws ineffective. I think the solution to this deadlock is telling people that our current legal system is not what it should be. If people realized that law could be a useful tool to uphold justice and make social change, they would rise and appeal for legal reform and give pressure to authority. When the idea of the rule of laws is rooted deeply in people’s hearts, we finally will become a democratic and liberalized country.
However, Rome is not built in one day. While achieving the final goal is attractive, it is no less important to solve the minor problems one by one. The totalitarian regime robbed people not only of their ability to live freely but also of the ability to understand fully what had been taken from them. By being a member of TJCLCR, I could learn the current issues on civil right theory and practice to obtain a broader knowledge on this area, to know what kind of right had been taken from our people, which will be important for my future career. I have relatively fewer credit hours to take at this semester, so I am interested to be an associate editor and do more challenging jobs.
|9/12/2018 21:27:09||Roxane Barbera||Fall email@example.com||512-781-0380||Undergrad GPA: 4.0||N/A||2021|
The importance of understanding and enforcing people’s civil rights has been a constant theme throughout my life. I have not only worked but also instructed people in a wide range of diverse, challenging, and high-paced environments with people of all nationalities and cultural backgrounds. I also worked in male-dominated, adverse settings where I faced discrimination but overcame it and excelled. For these reasons, I believe I am a very strong and serious candidate for the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights.
From 2013 to 2014 I volunteered as a Kindergarten teacher at a bilingual school in Connecticut. During this year I worked with students not only on academic matters but also on civil rights matters. All the children suffered discrimination on a daily basis due to their race and/or culture. Thus, I worked on developing an environment where students could develop their second language skills while also maintaining a sense of pride and connection with their first language and culture. This environment, which encouraged cross-cultural awareness, proved to be extremely beneficial to the students both academically and personally.
From 2015 to 2016 I worked as a Cave Diving Instructor in Mexico. Cave diving is a male-dominated profession, with certification requirements meant to induce tremendous physical and mental stress. Due to my age and gender, I was constantly underestimated and belittled by male instructors. One instructor snidely remarked in front of my teammates, “You’re going diving with her? Good luck.” However, I not only excelled in meeting the requirements and managing my own stress, but also in working with my all-male team and helping those who struggled in the more demanding emergency situations. Furthermore, I actively worked with members of the cave diving community to spread awareness about gender discrimination within the profession. For example, I ran bi-weekly meetings where cave dive instructors were invited to share instances of gender discrimination he or she witnessed in the preceding weeks. I found this open forum highly effective in not only illuminating the serious mental repercussions caused by gender discrimination but also encouraging the community to increase awareness and actively work toward improving this widespread civil rights issue.
I want to pursue a legal career because I want to serve people and my community, and I believe lawyers can help people in powerful and meaningful ways. I think the law grounds nearly every aspect of people’s lives, yet to the majority of the population, the law is a foreign language thus making it entirely inaccessible. I hope to one day make the law more accessible to those in need by teaching people how to not only speak the language but also understand it so that they can use it for their own good. And, I believe working with the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights will provide me with an invaluable foundation in my pursuit of this goal. I am fiercely confident that if you take a chance on me I will be an extremely valuable asset to your team.
|9/13/2018 22:40:46||Sydney Keller||Fall 2018|
I am extremely passionate about helping others maintain their civil rights and fight against bigotry. I primarily focus on helping people with disabilities. I am a pro bono scholar for the Supported Decision-Making Clinic with INCLUDE. At these clinics, we teach people with disabilities and their families about alternatives to guardianship and ways to help people with disabilities gain more independence. When a person is put under a guardianship, she is stripped of all of her civil rights. A person with a guardianship can no longer vote, marry or drive. They can also no longer choose where they want to live or if they want to go to school or work. Stripping people of their civil rights is extremely problematic and unjust. Through the clinic, I educate the community about ways to help people with disabilities, while still maintaining their civil rights. At the clinic, we also execute supported decision-making agreements, medical powers of attorney, and durable powers of attorney. All three of these documents are viable less restrictive alternatives to guardianship. The supported decision-making agreement also helps prove to a judge that a person with a disability has the capacity to make his own decisions in case his capacity ever comes into question.
This summer I worked at Disability Rights Texas in the special education department. There I filed complaints against local school districts who were denying children their right to a free and appropriate public education and the necessary accommodations. I believe that every person deserves the opportunity to thrive, and supports and services should be provided to help people achieve their goals. Even though special education has progressed tremendously over the last few decades, there is still significant room for improvement. This summer I also worked on a research paper with my boss about implicit bias and racial discrimination in special education. Unfortunately, students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately punished in schools and in the criminal justice system. Students of color are often misdiagnosed in schools and thus they do not receive the supports and services that they need to thrive. I have included an excerpt from the paper as my writing sample.
In addition to helping people with disabilities, I am also passionate about helping the LBGTQ+ community and fighting for transgender people’s rights. I participated multiple times last year in the TNGMP/Gender Affirmation Project, and I highly enjoyed it.
I believe that I would make an excellent contribution to TJCLCR, and I am interested in being an associate editor.
|9/14/2018 10:02:31||Jess Hallam||fall 2018|
As kids are wont to do, I dreamt of becoming a lawyer at an early age. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but I did know that it was devastating to see my brother try to navigate the world after being incarcerated for a felony—free from prison, but shackled by his record to a permanent underclass, unable to participate in society or politics in any constructive way. I wanted to help people like him when I grew up. Though for a while I diverged from this childhood dream to toy with the sciences, my agitation with the way the world works never left. Fast forward to my senior year of college: I took a class at Yale Law School on the intersection of sexuality, gender, health and human rights, which focused heavily on civil rights in the U.S. Though cliché, it was life-changing. No other class I’d taken fired me up—intellectually or morally—the way this class did. I was both horrified by the true extent of regulatory control the government has over our bodies, and excited about the way law could be wielded to combat this. Against all odds, I had actual fun writing my term paper, which argued that an Alabama anti-obscenity statute banning the sale and purchase of sex toys violates civil liberties—and demonizes women’s sexual autonomy and non-heterosexual sex—via privacy infringement. After this class, there was no turning back.
I spent the last two years working at a boutique law firm in London with a busy discrimination practice in the U.S. My firm was small, so I was able to get my hands dirty drafting pleadings and motions on both sides of the Atlantic. I worked on religion and gender discrimination suits brought under Title VII and Title IX, and disability cases against universities under the ADA. Most of those cases will never make it to trial, but I was lucky to be staffed on one case that I’m anxious to keep tabs on: a discrimination suit against a British government adoption agency for rejecting applications from minority parents that has the potential to overturn U.K. adoption law as unconstitutional.
While I’ve been mostly entrenched in women’s rights and discrimination work, I’m particularly interested in the rights of incarcerated individuals (if I’m being honest, my interest is actually in razing the carceral state, but who’s to say), and hope to work to advance/protect those rights after law school. For the past few months, I’ve been working with Solitary Watch, a national watchdog on solitary confinement, tracking deaths in custody across the country and reporting on the abysmal conditions in some of the country’s worst jails. I’ve gotten a crash course in how we systematically enslave and impose by proxy the death penalty on our most vulnerable populations, and deny them even those few civil liberties they are, in theory, entitled to. This is all to say: I really love thinking/reading/writing about civil rights and civil liberties, and would love the opportunity to do so with TJCLCR. Finally, as a word nerd, I’m very interested in taking a role as an Associate Editor.
|9/14/2018 12:22:36||Kathryn E. Garza||Fall 2018|
I was born into a very politically-active family. My mother ran for elected office when she was 8 months pregnant with me and I grew up skipping school to hold up signs at polling places. I was taught at a very young age the importance of advocating for civil rights and as you will see from my resume I have continued to be active in politics and policy work.
My first real policy job was working for Texas State Representative Celia Israel. Working for a female Latina at the Texas House of Representatives, I got firsthand experience fighting for civil rights related issues, including voting rights, criminal justice, and labor and employment issues. I found the work meaningful and important. The topics that the Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights focus on are issues that I’ve cared about for years and have professional experience with. Pairing my personal interests with my want to hone my writing and editing skills, the Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights is the perfect place to learn and contribute. Additionally, if there is an increased opportunity to get hands on editing experience, such as an Associate Editor position, I'd be very interested in that as well.
|9/14/2018 17:19:45||Reid Pillifant||Fall 2018|
|5124661518||N/A - first semester||N/A - first semester||2021|
In the spring, I decided to leave New York City, after 10 years working as a journalist there, and move back to Texas to attend UT Law. It was a difficult decision, but my hope is to make a difference here in my home state, by pursuing public interest legal work.
Before I started in journalism, I worked at a nonprofit that focused on capital defense work in Harris County, where I developed an interest in the death penalty. I later worked for the defense attorneys on a federal capital case in California, and have pursued a long-running research project on the electric chair that I hope to one day turn into a book. As a reporter and editor, I covered politics for Politico, Slate, and others, including intensive coverage of public policy at both the state and national levels.
I’m interested in being involved with the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, because it combines my interest in writing and editing, with my interest in public interest work here in Texas. I’m eager to learn more about issues of civil rights and civil liberties, and I think my experience could be an asset to the journal. Thanks for your time in reviewing my application.
|9/14/2018 18:32:45||Laura Brigham||Fall firstname.lastname@example.org||6077441110||2021|
My interest in civil liberties and civil rights began while I was in undergrad and took classes on gender inequities. From this, I developed a strong passion for women’s rights, especially those for lower income women. Many women in my extended family and my hometown are poor and lack access to basic resources in healthcare and education. Realizing how deeply this affected their lives, I joined the Roosevelt Institute, a public policy journal, and wrote on healthcare issues, gearing much of my focus towards women’s rights.
During my senior year of undergrad, I wanted to do more to find out how to pursue change for women in healthcare, and decided to take a course on civil disobedience. Previously, as a government major, I had always been hyper focused on policy solutions. But after going through dozens of templates of what the “right” way to protest was and their varying levels of effectiveness, as well as how to justify the practice of civil disobedience in the first place, I found myself seeing the change individuals can have when they unite. Through many of the movements we analyzed, civil rights and liberties were fought for and eventually won using a bottom up approach. From this, I have developed a strong interest in how to utilize different tactics of the people rather than the government in order to enact social change.
Overall, while I have not had much formal experience with civil rights and liberties, much of my education in undergrad focused on questions of inequity in gender and how to address those inequities through social movements, rather than waiting on policy to catch up. I also am extremely interested in the academic side of civil rights and liberties, particularly the many philosophical and moral justifications. While I am passionate about certain issues personally, there are still a lot I would like to be more informed on in the broad realm of civil rights and liberties. I enjoy nothing more than discussing these issues and learning more about them from others who are as interested in them as I am. For all these reasons, I would be excited to be a part of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.
|9/14/2018 20:15:45||Amy Wheeler||Fall 2018|
|8174801777||3.882 Undergrad||None- 1L||2021|
My passion for civil rights originated from my experiences and studies as an undergrad at TCU, as well as my volunteer experiences in Fort Worth. First, I studied political science and women and gender studies, which opened my eyes to the inherent political inequality within our country and, more specifically, the extent to which racial and gender discrimination still shapes our society and politics. I also learned about the selectivity of civil rights in our country today. In particular, I wrote a research paper on the criminalization of homelessness and how state laws and law enforcement efforts are violating the right to freedom of movement to those most vulnerable in our society.
Second, my time volunteering as a rape crisis counselor not only gave me experience working with victims of violent crime and with law enforcement, but also revealed how systems of poverty, sexism, and discrimination work together to impair the justice process for victims. I met with victims at the hospital during their rape exams, and noticed how many of the women who came in were poor, nonwhite, homeless, and had previous experience with the criminal justice system. Furthermore, I had several encounters with police officers who used these factors as a basis in which to blame them as victims and discount their stories. Most of the women I met with had no money for a lawyer, which was truly what inspired me to go to law school.
I am not entirely sure what I want to do after law school, but I know I will choose a career that allows me to fight for the rights of those most vulnerable in our society. This could be in the form of civil rights law, family law, or criminal law. During my time here at Texas Law, I plan to get involved with pro bono activities and the immigration pro bono trip in January. I believe that I can serve as a valuable edition to the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights editing team with my personal experiences, eagerness to learn, and passion for writing and research. Thank you.
|9/14/2018 20:38:21||Neha Singh||Fall 2018|
I've always been passionate about reproductive justice, and I'd love to continue working to ensure that women have the freedom to have kids whenever they want. To this end, I have attended the Religious Freedom in Action (RFIA) Conference, put on by the ACLU, for the past two years. It's simultaneously one of the most empowering and infuriating experiences I've had. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many people all working towards the same goal, but it was frustrating to see how much we were up against, and how determined others were to keep us down. I remember a doctor speaking at the conference broke into tears, because he wasn't able to treat his patients. He couldn't keep the Hippocratic Oath. I was shocked and saddened. I knew that it was difficult for women to get the care they needed, but I never thought about the kind of toll it would take on doctors.
At the end of the conference, we were given several tools that attendees could use to advocate for reproductive freedom and justice, and one of the most powerful tools was simply talking about it. Ensuring that people are well-informed, and that opponents truly understand what they are advocating against, is an incredibly powerful and effective step. I was able to learn how to discuss these issues with opponents without being hostile, and in the end, that's a more productive dialogue for everyone involved. I want to continue growing, learning, and having these conversations with people, so I'm applying to be part of the Steering Committee for RFIA 2019. Members of the Steering Committee help plan the logistics of the event, as well as gather interest and attendees for the conference. When I graduate, my dream job would be to work for the Center for Reproductive Rights in DC, to further hone and utilize my advocacy skills.
I have also served as the Committee Chair of It's On Us: Campaign to End Sexual Assault committee, while serving as a Senator for the Student Government at UT Dallas. I worked extensively with my team to inform students of the Title IX policy, as well as the meaning of consent. It was surprising to me how many students just didn't know what constituted sexual assault, and I was incredibly grateful that we had put together this committee. It's easy to assume every one knows, but I learned so much about people from just talking to them, it was humbling. I've really grown during and after this event, and I'm so proud of myself and all the work I've put in to potentially help others in whatever way I can.
|9/14/2018 21:14:43||Elizabeth Hamilton||Fall 2018|
My interest in civil rights predates my knowledge of what the words civil rights mean. At the age of four I informed my parents that I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could help people who weren’t treated fairly. As my vocabulary grew I learned that the work to end injustice and inequality occurs in the area of civil rights. I spent my first career working to support myself through my undergraduate studies and I am now at long last beginning my work to become an attorney. I hope to practice in the public interest sector in the future, focusing on human rights and civil rights.
As a Native American woman, I have a particular interest in the challenges that face my community. As part of my undergraduate studies I completed an honors thesis focused on the role that jurisdictional complexities play in exacerbating the problem of violence against Native American women. My initial concern spawned from the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women in North America and the seeming failure of the justice system to address the problem. I learned through the course of my research that Native American women are subjected to a higher rate of violence in general, specifically sexual violence when compared to women of other ethnicities. The research indicated that Native women are more likely on average to report being the victim of violent crime. While one might expect a higher rate of crime combined with a higher rate of reporting would result in a higher rate of prosecution, this is not the case. My thesis focused on jurisdictional challenges, however there were other disturbing patterns found in my research. Law enforcement can be slow to respond and often act based on ethnic stereotypes. In the few cases which do go to trial there is evidence of prejudice within juries. These issues compound one another and leave many victims feeling as though they may somehow deserve the violence they have experienced. This feeling of discouragement spreads through communities.
I have lived my life looking forward to the day that I could use the tools available to attorneys in the furtherance of equality and justice. As I gained a deeper understanding of the extent of the problems facing my own community this resolve has only deepened. I feel that today it is as important as at any time in our history that we shine a light on inequality and injustice. When I graduate from Texas Law I will be able to make this work my career, but I am not content to wait. I feel that I can take action now, during my time at Texas Law, through pro bono work and by working as a staff editor with the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.
|9/14/2018 21:26:52||Molli Morrison||Fall 2018|
|903 880 2848||3.51||3.51||2020|
In college I was involved with the local food bank that gave low-income children breakfast and dinner seven days a week. I had no idea before my work with the food bank that a substantial amount of children in the county were only receiving meals at school. We would prepare meal boxes and distribute them to multiple school districts in the area.The work helped put into perspective how disproportionate certain groups of the population live and how crucial it is for them to receive help from others.
In addition, I grew up in a small East Texas town where the idea that women should strive to stay at home and care for their families is still prevalent. In fact, a large portion of the women in my graduating class are already married with children. I want to do my part in helping women like the ones I know and care about to do what they want in life, whether that be caring for a family or not. Regardless of what practice area I decide to go into after law school, I plan on continuing pro bono activities and advocating for Civil Rights.
Miatta Chinwe Echetebu
Prior to law school, I earned a master’s degree in Clinical-Community Psychology and cultivated a career focus on civil rights matters at the intersection of psychology and the law. Perhaps my most extensive involvement in civil rights work was my participation on the ACCESS Initiative Evaluation Team. The ACCESS Initiative is a SAMHSA-funded system of care in Champaign County, Illinois focused on reducing racial disparities in behavioral health services for African Americans. I held multiple roles on this team, including collecting, analyzing, and interpreting racial data from systems such as juvenile justice and community mental health, reporting that data back to the systems, and proposing solutions for systems change efforts to reduce racial disparities and injustice. I managed and disseminated data comparing youths’ trajectories through systems by race as well as data measuring racial attitudes of staff and administrators across systems.
Beyond evaluation and reporting, I have additionally had direct experience advocating for the rights and fair treatment of oppressed populations. I developed a youth participatory action research (YPAR) project in a predominantly African American neighborhood that had been marked for redevelopment by the City of Champaign. With youth voice having been nearly absent from the redevelopment planning process, I identified, trained, advocated for, and partnered with neighborhood teens to study and develop effective avenues for political participation among youth. When we saw that the City’s attempts at distributing traditional adult-designed home surveys were not reaching youth, together we planned and organized a neighborhood basketball tournament and talent show, during which we gave youth-designed surveys and youth-led focus groups. We actively engaged the City of Champaign Neighborhood Services Department in our project. My youth partners and I presented our findings together to City Council, and the feedback was incorporated into the redevelopment plan. As a result of this work, two of my youth partners became the first youth appointed to the neighborhood steering committee, and all were awarded by the City for their leadership.
With this foundation in research and practice, I’ve furthermore had incredible opportunities to teach on civil rights issues. I’ve been invited to guest lecture on mass incarceration and African American community health to two undergraduate courses. I additionally spent a year as the instructor and program coordinator of an intensive service learning course for undergraduates at the University of Illinois, called the Community Advocacy Project (CAP). I was responsible for training and supervising the students as advocates for survivors in the community of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. During training, I taught about cultural competence, social justice, and the client-centered model of advocacy. Our clients were disproportionately African American and low-income women, and our goal was to increase their safety and access to opportunities they wished to pursue through connecting them to an array of services and working to make those services more responsive to their needs. These included legal services, healthcare, housing, education, employment, financial services, and many others. These experiences are only a few examples reflecting my immense lifelong passion for civil rights work and my goal in a legal career of improving outcomes and increasing access to opportunities for marginalized groups. I have already begun to seek out relevant opportunities in my first semester of law school. For example, I was recently trained to participate in the upcoming expunction pro bono project. I feel strongly that the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights is a strong fit for my interests, experiences, and goals, and I am very interested in being considered for a leadership role on this journal.
|9/14/2018 22:16:42||Brett Mele||Fall email@example.com||5129226820||3.74||2020|
Statement of Interest
My study of civil rights and civil liberties began in earnest as a political science major in college. Throughout my course of study, I took various courses that focused on voter disenfranchisement and civil rights. As my interests became more specialized, a majority of my coursework focused on civil rights under totalitarian regimes and after regime change. In addition to my courses, I spent a semester studying abroad in the Czech Republic doing research on how women’s rights were affected during Soviet rule and in the years following the USSR’s dissolution. This research opened my eyes to continuing injustices in both totalitarian and democratic regimes alike. It drew my attention to how insidious societal prejudices may take different legal forms in different governments, but such prejudices will persist if the fight against injustice is inconstant. These lessons informed my decision to pursue a legal education as a means of fighting flaws in our legal system that allow oppression to continue.
During my first year of law school, I have been grateful for opportunities to participate in various pro bono projects that have aided others in asserting their rights. Helping trans and genderfluid individuals update their Texas identification documents to reflect their true identities through the Trans Name and Gender Market Project has been a rewarding way to use some of the training I have received in law school.
My desire to continue learning about and contributing to civil rights law has only been enhanced by my time at law school. I believe that a legal education cannot be complete without studying how our system of laws enables repression and how that system could be reformed to achieve better ends. I am interested in joining the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights because I would like to contribute in part to a publication that promotes the advancement of civil rights and equality.
|9/14/2018 23:13:37||Jun H. Kang||Fall firstname.lastname@example.org||5123649746||3.36||3.36||2020|
To The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights (TJCLCR) members,
My name is Jun Kang. I am a rising 2L student. I was not interested in participating in journal when there was a write-on this summer. Yet, I am now writing an application to The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights (TJCLCR) because I changed my mind after I wrote a 2-credit research paper with Professor Mechele Dickerson this summer.
The research paper was about the recent Epic System v. Lewis case, which decided that employee may agree to an individualized arbitration free from labor unions intervention and such waiver of class arbitration is an enforceable contract. Writing a research paper provided me two important insights about myself. First, I realized that I like writing a research paper on a legal issue, and if I wish to continue writing papers until the end of law school, I must receive some training on legal citations and read more writings from professional scholars. I received credit for my research work this summer, yet I am improving my research paper by adding another proposal section because I am looking forward to submitting the research paper for publication. Second, I became interested in in the labor organization and collective bargaining, which is one of the main topics dealt in TJCLCR. Although the central theme in Epic System v. Lewis was enforceability and cope of arbitration agreements, it is also about National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) because enforcing class-arbitration waiver would effectively deter collective bargaining between labor union and employers. Lastly, I decided to apply to this journal in particular because I am an international student. Due to my limited understanding of U.S society in general, I feel somewhat detached from current civil rights issues in U.S. I believe participation to the journal will help me keep track of the currently debated Civil Rights and Liberty issues.
For this summer, I worked at the Judge Lora J. Livingston as a legal intern. I am planning to work in private sector after graduation. Hence, I am planning to engage in more public-side work while I am attending law school because such opportunities will be less available after graduating law school. Because this Journal, by its nature, will attract more talents interested in public work, I would like to connect and network with students with strong interest in public work.
|9/13/2018 13:17:03||Claire Kimutis||Fall email@example.com||281-745-0060||2020|
My parents taught me at a very young age that everyone was equal—girls could do anything boys could do, no race was any different than another. As I grew up, it astounded me to learn that not everyone thought this way. It bewildered me to learn that some people thought girls were not as smart as boys, or that the color of someone’s skin somehow affected who that person was underneath it. It outraged me at a young age, and it continues to do so to this day.
As an undergraduate, I interned for Mission Waco Legal Services, a legal aid office composed of a single attorney servicing the impoverished community in Waco, Texas. Prior to this experience, I had never personally witnessed individuals struggle for things that I took for granted. Families were facing illegal evictions from their homes—evictions they could not afford to fight. Custody battles weren’t being fought over weekend visitation of children, they were being fought for benefits from the government that one parent would lose if the other, more deserving parent was granted custody. Women were trying desperately to force fathers to support their children. I was aware of the abstract idea of human suffering and fighting for one’s rights, but it was not until my time interning for one nonprofit attorney that I actually felt the power of that the law had in acting as a tool for those suffering to see justice.
At the same time, I was the vice president of philanthropy of my sorority, where I found a passion advocating] for domestic violence survivors and spreading awareness. It was heartbreaking hearing so many stories from women at the Waco Family Abuse Center about the struggles they were going through even after finding the strength to leave their abusers. There were many stories of police inaction, failure from the system, and a cycle of ineptitude that led some to ultimately go back into the cycle of abuse. I was moved by these stories and the injustice faced by these women in a system which did not seem to do enough for them.
These experiences solidified my goal of going to law school to help others in some way. In law school, I participated in the Psychiatric Advanced Directive Clinic, which was by far my favorite experience of my 1L year. It was powerful to be a part of the clinic from the beginning. I learned so much from individuals in the mental health community with lived experience, individuals who have been through a psychiatric hospitalization. Learning about the horrifying experience of being held against your will, while having no say with what goes into your body when you are the only person who can explain what the powerful psychotropic drugs are making you feel, moved me. It was powerful to be a part of the clinic, assisting individuals in drafting a legal document that might be able to be a voice for them when they are in a situation when they cannot use their own. It was powerful to see the potential effect of a legal document. It is exciting to look forward in my legal career and hope for more powerful moments like this, where I use the resources I have to help those in need.
|9/16/2018 15:39:44||Savannah Kumar||Fall 2016|
My experience in and passion for civil rights and civil liberties began prior to starting law school and continued during law school. In college, my senior thesis explored states of emergency in conflict zones and how rights are implicated during emergencies. Prior to attending law school, I worked on prisoner's rights issues at San Quentin Prison in California and collaborated with social workers in Mumbai, India to address rights issues facing infants born in prisons and children raised in prisons. During my 1L year, I co-founded the Law and Justice Discussion Group, which provided a space for students to discuss social issues and their rights implications. I also displayed an exhibition during the East Austin Studio Tour on solitary confinement and the rights violations that commonly occur in jails and prisons.
The summer after my 1L year, I served as a law clerk at the ACLU of Texas in Houston. Some of the issues I worked on included: a bail reform case in Galveston County that challenged discriminatory, wealth-based jailing practices; research on voting rights violations in Texas; and research on the conditions of immigration detention centers. For the second half of the summer, I worked with the Center for Court Innovation to research the impacts of collateral consequences of criminal convictions and how they affect people's civil rights.
I am currently serving as a fall law clerk at the Texas Civil Rights Project. In addition, as a programming director for GRITS, I've designed a program that focuses on the challenges that accompany defending civil rights and liberties in the South. I also serve as a Mithoff Pro Bono Scholar for the Street Law Program where I teach high schoolers about equal protection and other constitutional issues. In addition, I am a constitutional law research assistant for Professor Sanford Levinson with whom I perform research on the structural components of the constitution. As an RA, I have spent time familiarizing myself with constitutional issues in legal academia and am well-prepared to contribute to TJCLR.
I believe that defending civil rights and liberties involves deeply understanding the issues that communities face. As such, I serve on the board of directors of the local non-profits: the Amala Foundation (which serves immigrant and refugee youth) and Truth Be Told (which serves women incarcerated in Central Texas). I am a Public Service Scholar and member of the Justice Center Student Advisory Board.
I am interested in taking a mid-tier role such as an "Associate Editor" on TJCLR.
vegan, but if no one else is vegan, don't stress about accommodating it!
|9/16/2018 16:29:26||Sarah Fernandez||Fall 2018|
After completing my undergraduate degree, I went on to work as an Intake Interviewer at a therapeutic alternative to incarceration program in New York City called Esperanza NY, Inc. This role required that I work in court on a daily basis. It was my responsibility to conduct bilingual interviews with children and families in detention centers, homes, and anywhere else necessary to improve each young person’s chance of a speedy release. I also provided acceptances and updates about my clients’ progress to the court. Over time, I became Esperanza’s predominant testifier in Family Court. I was responsible for writing letters to the courts, familiarizing myself with my clients’ legal, personal and educational histories, and reviewing evidence. I was constantly faced with the inequities in our criminal justice system and their impact on the young men of color who participated in the program. Ultimately, I was forced to conclude that incarceration cannot be divorced from systemic racism. Moreover, that abolishing prisons is a prerequisite to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of people of color in this country.
I feel committed and ethically obligated to doing as much pro bono as possible in law school. In January of 2018, I participated in Pro Bono in January and volunteered with ProBAR to assist asylum seekers in completing their applications. Throughout my first year of school, I translated for the domestic violence clinic and worked on Special Education casework projects. In all of these roles, I interacted substantially with clients. I also had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for Professor Susan Klein, researching the progression of rape and sexual assault law in Texas since the 1970s. This year, I will be working as a family law fellow with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas.
I spent the summer after my 1L year interning for Justice Steven González on the Washington State Supreme Court. In this position, I had the opportunity to present Justice González with my recommendations on several cases, both in person and in writing, some of which he adopted. I practiced oral advocacy in front of Justice González and his clerks, and had the opportunity to observe several oral arguments in person. I wrote memos distributed to the other eight Justices, and received feedback from his law clerks throughout. I also edited citations and copyedited throughout the summer. Finally, after gaining confidence in my work, Justice González asked me to draft a concurrence on his behalf. After careful consideration and review, he chose to adopt this concurrence.
|2/8/2019 11:09:42||Dominic Gattuso||spring firstname.lastname@example.org||847-757-5999||3.78||fall 2018||2021|
My interest in civil rights law began in high school, when I joined the ACLU club. Despite having the minimum amount of members for a club (after a liberal construction of “seven members minimum”) we managed to facilitate regular policy debates, movie screenings, and the occasional phone-a-thon with the ALCU of Illinois. At the time I understood very little about the American legal system, the history of civil rights, and different perspectives on the extent of civil liberties. One day, we decided to create a petition in support of marriage equality in Illinois (it was being discussed on the state level at the time) and collect signatures from our classmates and teachers, with the eventual goal of giving the petition to our local representative, Laura Fine.
I did not understand how there could be disagreement on the subject; I had lived my life up to that point around little to no political disputes. To my horror, there was a reason the subject of marriage equality was such a major political issue. I saw the full range of possible responses from adults and teenagers I had never met; some were happy and excited, while others grew angry and confrontational. We acquired less signatures than I had anticipated, and I felt a growing discomfort with the realization that my understanding of my peers had been simplistic, flawed, and idealistic.
In undergraduate I began taking classes on social movements, history, and political philosophy. I wanted to understand the concept of “rights” metaphysically, culturally, and experientially in the lives of others. After taking a class called “Law and Social Justice,” which explored constitutional law in the context of modern debates on civil rights, I decided to go to law school. In my first semester I participated in several pro bono projects, including the Pro Bono in January trip. While my academic exploration in undergrad had given me a philosophical perspective, I quickly saw that I was lacking in my understanding of how legal concepts translate into experienced realities for different people. Civil rights are violated every day, and the results of legal debate can change lives for better or worse. I want to become the kind of person who can confidently navigate the complicated socio-political discourse on civil rights and competently advocate for the rights of others.
|2/8/2019 11:16:36||Alexander Gras||Spring email@example.com||(318) 560-0368||4.19||Fall 2018||2021|
My interest in civil rights and liberties goes back (in some form or another) to when I was a child, circulating petitions around the school to try and rectify the “mistreatment” we were subjected to. Those all failed. However, they came from a strong desire to see justice done and to root out inequities and other wrongs wherever I saw them. That is, in part, why I came to law school in the first place; while I have always been on the fence about what kind of law I want to practice and in what setting, I have always wanted to be in some position to help people, either full-time or alongside a for-profit practice.
Studying political science in undergrad only strengthened this line of thinking. Being forced to look at the unfortunate realities of the current system and the fact that our ideals are often just ideals was perhaps not a shock, but it was infuriating. The more I learned about recent history, the more the idea of civil liberties felt like something from long ago, like something that I almost felt absurd for thinking should be around in the present. Civil rights began to feel like an empty promise that America kept making and forgetting. Most importantly, though, I realized just how important the work of the lawyers protecting those things really was. What little of civil rights and civil liberties was intact, was only so because of that work. I could not help but think often of when I was a child—in the direct wake of 9/11 and the start of the Iraq War—being taught that the government was trying to keep us safe, being made to sing about how we were happy and free, not understanding a word of any of it because we were seven years old. Remembering those things and learning about the constant assault on civil liberties during that time made me wonder what the adults around us knew.
When I arrived at UT this past August, I started doing pro bono work in part because I wanted to help protect peoples’ liberties. My first project involved helping the mother of a disabled man to stop Medicaid from revoking necessary treatment. That experience helped to drive home what I had learned about in undergrad; here was a person with the right to medical care that would have been deprived of it if we had not been able to help. Among other things, it made me wonder how many others like him wound up losing benefits. The next project I worked on involved helping asylum seekers prepare for credible fear interviews. Here, again, were people with a legal right—to seek asylum—being mistreated because they were born in the “wrong” place. These—and other—experiences have only strengthened my interest.
Joining the Journal would help me to learn more about the cutting edge of civil rights law and civil liberties law. It would not only strengthen the interest I already have but deepen that interest as well, helping me to understand the underlying law as it develops, as well as see it applied and see how it will likely develop over time. This knowledge will be a valuable asset as I go about trying to establish a career that puts me in a position that will allow me to apply that knowledge.
genetic aversion to cilantro
|2/8/2019 11:43:28||Abigail Orgeron||Spring 2019|
The value of civil liberties in my life became apparent when I began to realize the sheer amounts of oppression that minority groups faced. From the challenges low-income students face when obtaining an education, to the obstacles that people of color or people in the LGBT community face; a common link among minorities is their fight to obtain civil rights. I first began volunteering at elementary schools, where my mother taught in a special education classroom. During my time there, I witnessed firsthand the challenges these students faced because the law did not provide them with programs and aids that would help them succeed. I then volunteered as a tutor at the Allen, Texas Community Outreach GED program, which helps adults obtain their GED. Many of the students in the program worked full time, took care of their children after work, and still arrived late at night to continue their studies. Many did not choose to leave high school without a diploma, and often suffered for it in the work force. By volunteering in the GED program I hoped to help close the education gap that their economic level might have left them with.
Once I transferred to the University of Texas as an undergraduate, I began to volunteer with the Gender Sexuality Center. I conducted bake sales and helped spread information on campus. I gained a more thorough understanding of the unique challenges different groups of the LGBT community faced, and learned how to better fight for those unique rights, such as breaking the stigma surrounding bisexuality or insisting that the school include more gender neutral bathrooms. That passion for civil rights carried over to law school, where I now mentor a first grader who faces several social and educational barriers. I am also an avid member of OUTLaw and a recurring member of their Gender Affirmation Pro Bono Project. At the Gender Affirmation Project, I help community members from various Texas counties fill out paperwork in order to change their legal name or gender marker. I also help advise them on the next steps to take in order to complete their legal documents so that they may gain protection from having their driver’s license or legal documents match the gender and name that they use.
I also work on the Family Preparedness Clinic, which helps non-citizen parents prepare documents for the children in the event that the parents are deported or arrested. While these papers are for rare emergency situations, the chance of non-citizen parents being able to see their citizen children should the parents be deported is highly unlikely. These documents give parents a peace of mind and ensure that their children will not end up in the custody of Child Protective Services or in the foster care system. In an already so hostile and frightening time for these families, I hope to help them obtain some small aspect of peace of mind. Gaining civil rights for all has been at the forefront of my activities and extracurricular activities and I hope to continue that work in my participation in Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.
|2/8/2019 11:59:12||Kallie Klein||Spring firstname.lastname@example.org||5122032256||3.9||3.9||2021|
My knowledge of lawyers came primarily through my mother and her friends- all lawyers. I listened to their debates at dinner parties and was intrigued by the subject material, but I never considered entering her field. My goal was always to “help people” and to me it seemed as though my mother’s job was to argue.
In college I devoted myself deeply to history and dance, which is where I learned academically and in practice how to “help people”. The topics I studied in history, WWII and the Holocaust, were near perfect examples of the harm that can occur when a disadvantaged group lacks advocates and representation. I learned what can happen when a powerful group overtakes a system and there is no counterbalance to correct and prevent injustice. My passion for dance came not from the actual dance moves, but from instilling in my students an artistic vision and seeing the effect my classes had on their confidence in their own abilities. I crafted my classes to incorporate broader life lessons in addition to dance steps as I became more invested in my students’ growth as young people.
Through history I cultivated my love for writing and research and my ability to consider the many perspectives on an event. I became adept at finding and comprehending the large grey area that exists between what I formerly considered the dichotomy of “right” and “wrong”. I became practiced at advocating both for what I believed, and for what I did not believe and for all that lay in between. Through dance and working with children I found my natural capacity for compassion. More recently, I developed my organization and time management skills in my work running my studio’s dance company during my last two years of college and my first semester of law school while my studio director devoted herself to the medical needs of a daughter. I have had to plan dance recitals, which requires managing many children, and communicating with various other teachers and teams of adults to ensure that multiple aspects of the show come together in the right order. Through these leadership roles I’ve developed my ability to creatively solve problems-for challenges occur frequently when dealing with children.
I want to help maintain the balance that ensures the justice system functions fairly. I believe that we need lawyers actively engaged in defending civil rights if we want a fair justice system. I want to be part of the team that advocates for these rights.
|7/15/2019 18:44:08||Hannah E. Schiffman||Fall 2019|
Like many law students, I grew up in a privileged and sheltered environment. From a young age, we were indoctrinated into this blind patriotism, which I bought into for a long time. My thoughts on civil rights were along the lines of “Mission Accomplished” George Bush in 2003. It also took me a long time to recognize my opinions had changed. I don’t believe there was one event that changed my mind. Maybe it was my mass incarceration class in undergrad, or seeing how racist my classmates were during the 2012 election cycle, or witnessing the eternal abortion struggle on-going in Texas, or maybe it was the guy in Conlaw who said the Civil Rights cases was a show of judicial restraint.
My favorite type of pro bono work is immigration because I have been close to children of immigrants and DACA recipients. They’ve done nothing wrong, and we treat them like criminals for an arbitrary border. But immigration court is my least favorite because there’s no compassion and the judges sit on the bench reading from their DHS packet. My favorite volunteer work is registering people to vote. I’ve always been interested in legal equality for LGBTQ+ and would like more avenues to learn more.
America’s history is disheartening, but I can only find solace in the fact that whatever the Constitution was supposed to promise for white men who owned land in 1789, that promise has gotten wider. And people everyday advocate to fulfill that promise, through J.D. work like litigation, pro bono, and grassroots campaigns.
I would also be interested in becoming an associate editor.
|9/12/2019 21:17:08||Reem M Ali||Fall email@example.com||9152587037||2021|
I had my sights set on working for a big law firm when I first started law school. I guess you could say I was caught up in the pizzazz of what I thought big law, and just firm life in general, entailed. However, after my experience during my 1L summer, I realized that I am not the kind of person that wakes up every morning just to bill hours to a client, all for the goal of making my boss more money. Thus, I realized this summer that I would prefer to wake up in the morning and know that the work I am going to do, will ultimately benefit people in other ways other than monetary.
My newfound realization is the reason I want to pursue a career in public interest. My interest has already become cemented on this career path since starting my work assisting people and ensuring their rights through the human rights clinic. I also intend on pursuing more classes during my time in law school to focus on both civil and human rights.
I have participated in various pro-bono projects, including the expunction project which is offered by the law school; as well as assisting asylum seekers in preparing for their credible fear interviews over winter break. Although I do not see myself pursuing a career that relates to the pro-bono projects I have worked on, I do know that I want to focus my path in a way that allows me to assist people in need the most in an area of the law that I find passion in.
My favorite class during my 1L year was constitutional law, since I was able to learn about the dramatic transformation that the American legal system underwent, when providing women and people of color more rights. During this class, I found myself not only interested in learning how the law has developed but considering all the work we have yet to do as a society. I hope to be able to contribute to our American legal system by fighting for the legal civil rights that people deserve.
Lastly, I would appreciate being considered for an associate editor position, as I believe my commitment to civil rights, as well as my great management skills, would make me a great candidate for this position. Thank you for considering me for a position on the civil rights journal, I look forward to hearing from you all soon.
|9/15/2019 7:15:52||Jamahl Poynter||Fall firstname.lastname@example.org||2022971051||2021|
My interest in civil liberties stems from my life experiences. Growing up in the DC-area, I have always been conscious of the disparities faced by those on the other side of the Anacostia River. While DC has undergone a rejuvenation of sorts, people on the Southeast quadrant of the city live in poverty and despair. Even here 1,300 miles away, I cannot divorce myself from the place that created me.
Several years ago, I gave my time to tutor at an alternative school in one of the worst neighborhoods in DC. This experience was eye-opening not because I was not already aware of what occurred in the ghettos of DC, but because I had nearly forgotten where I had come from. In life we must be responsible for our own choices. However, people fail to address that for some, many positive choices are not available. I would never justify crime, but psychology says most people are only a few missed meals from chaos. How can people be expected to focus in school when all they see is a school system that didn’t help the others before them? How can anyone focus in school when their lights are off at home, there’s no food in the fridge, and their father has not come home?
Every time I drive through DC, I face the uncomfortable reality that any of those kids on a lost path could have been me. I grew up without my dad in the house; I just happened to get lucky. My mom just happened to marry the right person; I just happened to live in the right neighborhood, attend the right middle and high schools, and grew up in a situation where I did not wonder where my next meal was coming from. Even though I have “made it out,” I still face the uncomfortable “What if?” However, my hypothetical is the reality of many living in neighborhoods across the country. I feel it my duty to continue to address these issues as I advance in life. I will address issues like this and many more once I run and am hopefully elected to Congress.
I am interested in taking an associate editor role.
|9/15/2019 18:44:17||Samantha Westrum||Fall 2019|
My advocacy and teaching experiences have fueled my passion for civil rights and motivate me to join the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. As an undergraduate, I worked with community partners within the local school, foster, and juvenile justice systems to learn about and create policy recommendations to combat child trauma, which disproportionately affects low-income children and children of color. Without proper prevention and treatment, trauma increases a child’s likelihood of destructive behaviors, leading to adverse later-life outcomes, from health issues to incarceration. My research report won $12,250 from local philanthropists to support trauma-informed care training within the University of Virginia hospital, Charlottesville foster care system, and city policy department. This advocacy experience allowed me to influence access to equal opportunity in my city and inspired me as I continued advocating for civil rights in my career.
Teaching first grade in Dallas, I ensured my students had a safe and equitable learning environment within my classroom and throughout our school. If a child does not feel calm or welcome at school, their learning suffers tremendously. I used my background in trauma-informed care to shape my educational practices, infusing lessons in mindfulness and social-emotional skills throughout our day, while also setting high expectations for learning. For the 2018-2019 school year, 40 percent of my scholars met their one-year growth goal in reading by January, and 50 percent of my scholars met their one-year growth goal in math by that same time. Additionally, I pushed for special education accommodations for those students who had either not yet been identified for those needs, or whose needs were previously ignored. By presenting my classroom routines, procedures, and attitudes to staff members at my school and to other Teach for America corps members, I have given best practices to over 300 teachers across the Dallas-Fort-Worth area. The relationships I have built with students and families over the last two years drive me to work toward securing the most just future for them, one where they have no educational, economic, or legal barriers to reaching their fullest potential.
Though I appreciated my time in the classroom, my ultimate goal is to take part in systemic change. I believe that education is a civil right, and a human right. Obstacles such as healthcare, immigration, and criminal justice keep my students and their families from fully accessing that right, and I am eager to break down those impediments as a future policymaker. My involvement with the Supporting Parents’ Education, Advocacy, and Knowledge (SPEAK) and Expunction pro bono projects will help me exercise my enthusiasm for equal access to opportunity in a hands-on manner. Joining the TJCLCR will allow me to indulge my passions in an academic setting, as well as hone my writing and critical thinking skills outside of the classroom. Through my advocacy and teaching experiences, I have cultivated exceptional writing and editing skills, as well as a deep commitment to pursuing a career in civil rights and public interest work. If selected, I believe I would meaningfully contribute to the production and community on the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.
|9/15/2019 19:08:26||Marguerite Zamora||Fall 2019|
Prior to coming to the University of Texas School of Law, I taught sixth grade math at a Title One school in downtown Houston. I loved teaching and adored my students, many of whom I still speak with regularly. While teaching was an amazing experience, it also made certain systemic inequities blatantly obvious which made it very difficult to remain in the classroom, knowing that there was so much work to do on a much larger scale. When my students asked me why I was leaving, we would talk about these issues and I am now applying to the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights in the hopes of continuing the work that I started with them. I am also serving as a student lead counselor on the Expunction Project this semester and look forward to starting work on that this upcoming week. There are far more transgressions on civil liberties than I will pretend to know, and I hope to use my experience in this journal to educate myself and others. My undergraduate degree is in both psychology and English from Texas A&M University. My psychological research topics include statistical analyses of gender stereotyping and the disputed causes of Alzheimer’s disease. My English research was focused on literary criticism and covered topics including the dehumanization of impoverished and minority communities, as well as the pursuit of a national identity in victims of colonialism. What I lack in legal education as a 1L in my first semester, I can supplement with past experience and passion. I would be honored and thankful to accept a position on this journal as a 1L and learn from both the content of the articles and the writing mechanics. While my educational background is writing intensive, legal writing has been an entirely different experience already and I would value any additional practice and feedback. My undergraduate research, coupled with work experience as a teacher helping students facing deportation, and required special needs representation makes me a passionate applicant to this journal and I appreciate your consideration. This journal is doing important work and I would truly enjoy being a part of it, however small. This work is why I chose to go to law school and I would love to be able to bring a copy of the journal to my students and encourage them to join in the work when they are able in just a few short years.
Tree Nut Allergy (not peanuts)
|9/15/2019 23:40:12||John Ryan Hormell||fall 2019|
I first became interested in civil rights after discovering that many of my high school friends had been automatically placed in lower level classes due to their race and ethnicity. My high school, like many others in Texas, had “tracking”, a system of separating students by academic ability into different curriculums. The two tracks were grade level and advanced placement, with advanced placement being the track on which higher ability students were placed. As I found out my senior year, our school counselor had placed many incoming Black and Brown transfer students in the lower grade level classes despite their high grades. Our commencement speaker told us that he was originally placed in the grade level track because he was Brown, and other students had similar stories. This system functionally segregated an otherwise theoretically diverse school. Additionally, the difference between grade level and advanced placement had significant effects. Advanced placement classes allowed students to achieve a higher GPA, to obtain college credit, and better prepared them for college entrance exams. Seeing the callous injustice of the educational system impact my friends and school in such a way motivated me to pursue a career working to ensure that all people enjoy the same basic rights and liberties. Rights and liberties of economic opportunity, education, due process, and equality under the law.
My first introduction to the work of civil rights under Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis in his Texas Legislative Internship Program. In his department of public policy, I researched and showed the disparate impacts that our justice system has on Harris County’s most vulnerable constituents. Race and wealth play a factor every step of the way, from apprehension to bail to trial to sentencing. Harris County had recently been sued for an unconstitutional money bail system, and I worked to quantify the affects that wealth had on pre-trial outcomes. I have also worked with Dallas Independent School District as an Urban Leaders Fellow, creating policy recommendations for their Racial Equity Office to implement to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the district. We presented three recommendations to the School Board. First, that the magnet schools within the district move from a proximity lottery to a income based lottery, reserving 25% of the schools’ seats for students of families within each income quartile. Second, that the district stop using out of school suspension for all but the most violent of rule infractions, and they require their disciplinary alternative education program to be age appropriate, restorative, and culturally responsive. Finally, we recommended that the district provide open access to data on educational outcomes disaggregated by race, ethnicity, income, and other factors to ensure that the community has the information they need to continue to advocate for improvement.
I hope to continue to advocate for civil rights for all at UT law as a member of the Public Interest Law Association. So far I have done one pro bono project, helping people to create psychiatric advanced directives through the INCLUDE program. I am also signed up for the Texas Expunction Project, Law for Black Lives, Women in Immigration Detention Assistance Project, DACA renewals clinic, Medicaid Evidence Workshop, Court Debt Relief and Driver’s License Assistance Project, and Street Law High School Project. The protection of civil rights and liberties is fundamental to our society, and I would be honored to help assist in the dissemination of knowledge and learning around the subject.
|9/16/2019 20:39:01||Maaz Asif||Fall 2019||MaazAsif@UTexas.edu||+1 512-576-1596||2022|
My interest in civil rights began as naive childhood fancy, terrified by the tales of my grandparents who lived through the partition of India. My grandfather told me of how he slowly sneaked his way into Pakistan over the course of several months, under fear of being killed or facing a worse life in India as a member of a minority group. He never forgot the kindness of the individual members of the Hindu majority that helped him, a Muslim, flee to a place where he would be safe. He eventually became a judge, well known in his community as a champion of civil liberties who did his utmost to ensure the protection of minority groups in his fragile young nation even as a member of the dominant religious majority. I was inspired by him and other figures, individuals such as Martin Luther King and Louis Riel who sought to use civil rights as a shield against government oppression of minority groups. During my high school years I became quite active in the local Amnesty International club, focusing my attention on human trafficking which is an issue that has severely harmed Canada's most vulnerable minority groups: its Indigenous communities.
During my college years however, my childhood dream gave way to abject apathy. The expansion of the surveillance state and the continued discrimination minority groups faced lead me to believe that my efforts to protect civil rights were meaningless. Feeling frustrated and powerless, I turned to my leadership professor Dr. John Phelan who was curt, disappointed in my decision to just give up. After the semester ended I went to Pakistan to attend a cousin’s wedding and was astonished by the idealism of my relatives. I saw corruption in its truest form: beggars on every street corner, cops soliciting bribes, and inadequate infrastructure for which allocated funds were embezzled. And yet, so many of my cousins remained committed to playing their constructive role to improve society, pursuing careers in medicine, law, and public service. They did not give into cynicism, so why did I? Perhaps I could still help others. My disillusionment with the legal institution was transformed into a drive to create change.
Thus I pursue a law degree hoping to someday fight for human rights in a more powerful manner. In that regard I would love to get involved with the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Liberties. Journalism is one of the strongest tools we have to combat injustice, keeping track of our civil rights and informing our fellow attorneys of negative developments spurs action to maintain them. I hope to protect the civil rights of minority groups across the country, as my grandfather once did, perhaps as an Associate Editor.
|9/16/2019 21:17:17||Daniel O'Leary||Fall 2019|
Issues of civil liberties and civil rights are close to me both personally and academically. As a queer person, it is difficult not to be moved by the progression of LGBTQ rights. I remember being elated that the Supreme Court handed down the Obergefell decision. However, I didn’t fully grasp the effort required to get that point until a professor recommended that I read Dale Carpenter’s book Flagrant Conduct. It outlined the activism and advocacy that led to the decision in Lawrence v. Texas. I found an intellectual passion for the work that had to go into that decision. I was curious about the decision to not contest the facts in the Lawrence case. I was also fascinated by the entire protest effort that got psychiatrists to remove homosexuality from the DSM. Just as much as history, I found the words that brought these rights into fruition profoundly moving. Justice Kennedy’s opinion announcements from the bench in Lawrence and Obergefell are compelling statements of rights that drive me to this day. I studied the way that Justice Kennedy’s language softened over twelve years. The language he chose ended up mirroring the changing opinions about LGBT rights in the United States.
Despite how personally compelling I find the words of Justice Kennedy and how convinced I am of the rights that they afford people, I have had academic difficulty squaring the popular political conception of rights with the philosophical debate around them. When people discuss rights in the law, politics, and society broadly, they are usually making a case that they hope to lead to specific outcomes for specific people. This often is entirely unrelated to the philosophical project of determining what rights exist and why they are rights. US rights discourse, as a function of our founding, has seemed stuck in a discussion of human nature that is broadly divorced from what philosophers think now. In my academic work, this has seemed to materialize in the disconnect between procedural rights and substantive outcomes.
This disconnect between procedural rights and substantive outcomes manifested itself in my academic work on the Genocide in Rwanda against the Tutsi. Studying Rwanda’s unique version of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions after the Genocide in Rwanda, I found that NGOs like the Human Rights Watch were often more concerned with rights like the right to an attorney without considering what participants wanted to get out of the process. This disconnect is particularly troubling to me because it asks whether the procedural rights that our legal system holds up actually help the people who come to the system seeking help resolving a problem.
I want to work on the Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights because I think that academic work at the intersection of the practice of asserting and protecting civil liberties and rights and theoretic work surrounding rights language can make both discourses stronger. Applying theoretical frameworks to praxis can help clarify what is happening in practice and why people are engaging in the practice, to begin with. Participating in this journal would help me stay connected with these discourses academically, and I would hope that I could help further the discussion around what rights people have and why they have them.
|9/16/2019 22:16:37||Graham Pough||Fall 2019|
|6465191750||uGPA 3.4, LSAT 178||2022|
I graduated in 2016 with a double B.A. in Business and English but no inspiration. I planned to work in advertising, but had spent the prior summer at large New York firm that felt more like a digital intelligence agency. A friend offered me a couch in Montreal, so I moved north and began volunteering for the Justice Human Rights Organization (JHRO), an international human rights advocacy firm. As a legal assistant, I helped advocate for victims of torture, human trafficking, and persecution for political dissent. I drafted complaints to the OECD, State Department, and FIFA exposing companies profiting from violations of basic human rights thousands of miles away. I wrote speeches that were read at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on populations deprived of their right to statehood. This work shattered my worldview and ignited a passion for ensuring basic individual liberties.
When researching failed democracies abroad, I saw how corruption and polarization can drown political freedom. After the 2016 election, I realized for the first time that these forces were pervasive and threatening liberty in my own country. In 2017, I was hired by the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics. My primary duties were to support our investigation counsels, review financial disclosures, and seek out campaign finance violations for the 2018 election. The goal of my job was to refute undue influence over the most powerful legislative body on earth. This is perhaps the most essential safeguard to ensure that the rights of individuals are not compromised by the interests of powerful entities.
Obviously, we failed. The stratification of liberty in America worsens every day as we cast aside values to feed hateful ideology and capital gains. Politicians proudly criticize tolerance, expression, and equality. We have seen children thrown in cages, policemen encouraged to commit brutality, and hate crimes treated with indifference. Corporations have normalized violations of privacy, due process, and free speech without consequence. This moral recession has no bottom. If unchallenged by the legal community, the fabric of civil liberties and individual freedom will continue to fray. This is why I came to Law School, and why I want to join the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. I want to help foster a commitment to scholarship and action to defend civil rights by legal professionals and all Americans. Thank you for your consideration.
|9/17/2019 1:00:45||Jennifer King||Fall 2019 - Spring email@example.com||559-475-3372|
3.9 (grad school at UChicago)
In 2014, I embarked on a pilgrimage throughout the American South that visited cities known for their connection to the struggle for civil rights. During this trip, I lived history. I walked through the halls of Central High School that witnessed the abuse suffered by nine courageous students. I silently stared at the blood-strained driveway of Medgar Evans’ home in Jackson. I marched in remembrance of Bloody Sunday across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. I sat in the pews of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church where Dr. King once preached in Montgomery. I took in the sight of a rebuilt walls in Birmingham where four little girls once happily attended church before their murders. These moments are just a sampling of a trip that changed who I am and how I think. My passion for civil rights and civil liberties was born.
Although I did not grow up in an era where the names of Viola Liuzzo, Ella Baker, and James Meredith flashed across news headlines, this pilgrimage opened a window into the past. I confronted many difficult issues facing modern society with deep roots lodged in a dark, complicated past. Many of these issues lack an easy political solution, but we owe the heroes of the past our best efforts to continue the progress they started. As such, one of my greatest passions since the trip is the furthering the legacy of the many civil rights heroes, both domestically and internationally.
Following the trip, I focused a substantial portion of my remaining undergraduate career on issues related to social justice. I attended Alabama State University’s Civil Rights Conference to present a paper on disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Additionally, one of my two undergraduate honor theses addressed the liberation struggle in South Africa and the road to social rehabilitation. While in graduate school, I travelled to New Delhi, India to participate in an international conference involving the topic of alleged human rights abuses of the Muslim minority in southern India. Most recently, I championed a project focused on increasing the diversity of the Panel to feature more women and minorities, specifically in practice areas with systemic underrepresentation, while working for American Arbitration Association.
I intend for these pursuits to merely serve as a starting point. No matter the area of law I one day practice, I will always keep these issues at the fore and do my part to continue the legacy of the Movement’s heroes. As such, it would be an honor to serve on the TJCLCR. Thank you for the consideration of my candidacy.
|9/17/2019 17:03:41||Jake Bishop||Fall 2019|
Like many people, my interest in civil rights has been piqued over the last three years. While the process of maintaining and expanding civil rights has always been an active endeavor, the last few years have shown that even the most basic of civil rights that we all assumed were taken for granted can be challenged. It has become quite clear that the fight for maintaining our civil rights has become a much more active conflict, with new fronts seemingly opening every day.
My main exposure in civil rights comes from my time in the military. I was in the Army when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was finally repealed, and I saw many men (I was infantry, which was all-male at the time) come out during this period. Of course, their sexual orientation had no effect on the quality of their soldiering, nor did it lead to a breakdown of “good order and discipline” like the critics said it would. The only thing that needs to be straight about a soldier is their shooting.
Nor is gender a specific component to being a good soldier. My opinion on women in combat arms is very much the same as my opinion on gay soldiers. As someone who spent their early 20s walking up mountains, jumping out of airplanes, and getting shot-at, I feel that I am qualified to say that there is nothing gender-specific about the job. It comes down to pure physical fitness, whether male, female, transgender, etc.
Imagine my revulsion, then, when I heard that transgender soldiers were being forced out of the military after being told it was safe to be open about who they are. To me, it would was no different than if the gay infantrymen I knew who had come out just before our deployment to Afghanistan (which is when DADT was repealed relative to my unit’s deployment schedule), fought in Afghanistan for a year, and were then told upon returning that they were going to be discharged because policy had changed, and it was a known fact that they were gay.
While I don’t plan on going into public interest, I also don’t plan on sitting on the sidelines. I want to be able to tell my children that I was not idle during the late 2010s when racism and bigotry was bubbling to the surface. In whatever way I can, I intend to fight back. That’s what soldiers do.
|9/22/2019 11:48:09||Emily Ivey||Fall firstname.lastname@example.org||903 918 3577||2022|
My interest in civil liberties as a study area is relatively new in my life. Prior to being an upperclassman undergraduate, I was unaware of this topic in general: academic research, peer- reviewed journals, seminars and conferences, dissertations, and scholarly articles are some of the ways the topic of civil rights and liberties was introduced to me. These modes of better understanding this subject are the lungs of societal awareness and acceptance that civil rights and liberties is a continuous fight in the world. Through academia, the conversation grows deeper, the audience grows larger, the understanding grows further, and the advocates grow stronger. The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights offers to those in the legal field- and otherwise- ways to think differently, challenge deep-set beliefs, and change their surroundings to push the message forward.
I believe that this journal not only validates the work that is being done currently, but also asks important questions about where we can improve as a whole, and what roles need to be filled. Though I do want to work in public interest, my eagerness to explore the TJ Civil Liberties and Civil Rights is broader than simply public service. The subject as it operates in the scholastic field is fascinating to me, and I want to be a part of the team that offers space to discuss these topics and promotes a changing society for equality. My past experiences have equipped me with a unique perspective that I can offer to the journal; I was the founder and president of IGNITE UTT Chapter, a college chapter of national organization that works towards political power in women; I volunteered for a year at a youth transition center where I interacted directly with participants of the program who were seeking a path out of the justice system; I am in the pro bono program for record expunctions and court debt relief assistance; and I want to be a part of something bigger than myself, working towards a larger goal for the betterment of the world.
|2/2/2020 10:54:21||Rhea Shahane||Spring 2020|
I became interested in civil rights and civil liberties from a very young age when I grew up as one of the only people of color in small town Texas. My family was looked at differently, and I was six when I learned what about racism. I grew up wanting to make a difference in my community, especially for people that looked like me. When I came to college, I was able to merge outreach and advocacy for the people in my community and my passion for different women's rights issues. I was on the board of a sexual assault organizations on campus, and during my 1.5 years I was on the board, I trained over 300 people in sexual assault prevention, planned two UT wide events, and expanded the organization out of Greek life to include most of the cultural social groups on campus. In addition to work on campus, I worked for a nonprofit in Austin founded by Senator Wendy Davis called Deeds Not Words, through which I was able to testify over 25 times in front of Texas House and Senate committees on issues such as sexual assault, reproductive justice, and menstrual equity. The most notable one of these testimonies was when my friend and I waited 12 hours to be one of 4 people to testify in committee against an anti-abortion bill that had been proposed (compared to the 500+ people who were there in support of the bill). Because of this experience at the capitol, I hold a record for one of the most testimonies given during one session and was given the opportunity to speak for women's rights at the 2020 Austin Women's March.
|3/3/2020 13:24:46||Ryan Mathis||Spring 2020|
I've been interested in civil rights since I was young enough to begin forming my own thoughts about the world. I grew up in a white, conservative suburb north of Dallas, and began asking my parents about Republican Party politics, which defined many of my friends' politics (or, mostly, their parents' politics). I didn't understand why there was such a visceral reaction to the question of whether two gay people should have the legal right to marry—after all, two straight people can. I was confused as to why the Baptist presence was so concerned about being able to teach religion in science classes—after all, we have separation of church and state. As I grew older, I read histories of discrimination—legal, political, economic, cultural—and formed my own explanations for why such views I find irrational and simply "mean" persist. I studied Government at UT, and took courses on racial discrimination, constitutional interpretation, and civil liberties. I found the education in this sphere so fascinating that I knew two things: 1) I had to go to law school and 2) I wanted to be involved with civil rights work while in law school. This interest guided my professional work too: first as a legislative aide to one of the only Black women in the Texas State House while in undergrad, then after graduation, to elect women of color Democratic candidates to a variety of public offices in Texas.
My personal politics have been shaped near-entirely by this commitment to civil rights, but my commitment does not extend only "civil" rights for all. It is not enough to eliminate State discrimination in areas of jury service, voting rights, and marriage. We must also recognize that economic rights are civil rights. San Antonio ISD v. Rodriguez must be overturned. Healthcare must not be made "affordable"; it must be made, through the democratic process, a legal right of human existence in the United States. The right to a job paying a living wage must be made, through the democratic process, a legal right of human existence in the United States. These are not radical ideas; 70 years ago, FDR listed these very proposals in his "Second Bill of Rights," and it is the duty of this generation of civically-minded citizens, especially lawyers, to see to it that that platform is enacted. I have a profound intellectual and personal commitment to civil rights education and activism. I will be involved in the rights struggle my entire life. I would like to contribute my skills and energy to this journal during my legal education.
|7/23/2020 16:34:53||John Channing Ruff||Summer/Fall 2020|
I worked in D.C. as a government affairs professional in the years prior to law school. During my time there, I gained a deep appreciation for how the legal system underpins both the political and corporate governance of our nation. But I also came to realize how deeply flawed all of these institutions are—and how consistently they fail our most vulnerable populations. Law school has made it woefully apparent to me that the legal system itself fails these same populations, across the board. I believe we all have a moral imperative to use our positions and careers to advance the causes of basic human rights, civil liberties, and human dignity. I have sought to live these values, from lobbying against the current President’s reductions in refugee numbers as a professional, to throwing myself into pro bono work on disability rights and special education issues as a law student.
Unfortunately, much of my time in government affairs was spent advocating for corporate interests. I was not able to devote the amount of time I had hoped to social justice issues. When I came to law school, I promised myself that I wouldn’t sacrifice spending time on the work I care about for a pay-check again. As an undergraduate, I was a program coordinator within my school’s Center for Social Justice, helping to run an afternoon tutoring program in the DC public school system. Because of this experience, I set out to focus my time on disability rights work within the INCLUDE project because it provided an opportunity to work with children and the education system. I assisted families in crafting Supported Decision Making Agreements, preventing young adults with disabilities from being subjugated by restrictive guardianships. I also helped Medicaid recipients, between the ages of 3 and 5, obtain medically necessary nursing, services, or equipment through the fair hearing administrative process.
But the project I most enjoyed was special education casework. I worked directly with parents of special education students to prepare and educate families regarding special education law and disputes. We ensured parents were familiar with the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process and aware of their children’s legal right to receive a free and appropriate legal education (FAPE). In especially difficult cases or cases where schools were not fulfilling their obligations, parents could request additional casework support from INCLUDE, including representation in mediation and due process where necessary. I was able to support a client that went to mediation, writing legal complaints and corresponding with the Texas Education Agency regarding a school’s failure to meet its legal obligations. At the end of the school year, I was hired as a Pro Bono Scholar to run the Medicaid and SPED Casework projects.
However, my interest in civil rights and civil liberties goes beyond disability rights. I have an intense interested in the how national security law and policy impacts, and often violates civil liberties. The events of this summer put our increasingly militarized police force and the military oppression of civilians on national display. I feel compelled to expand my work and understanding of civil rights and civil liberties issues while also deepening my engagement on the issues I am already involved with. I believe TJCLCR provides the perfect opportunity to further expand my knowledge of and engagement with civil rights and civil liberties jurisprudence.
|9/5/2020 14:20:32||Dan O'Leary||Fall 2020|
|9788868545||3.5||2022||I am interested.||None|
|9/17/2020 11:30:20||Connor D. Bridges||Fall email@example.com||361-219-8516||2023|
|9/17/2020 15:44:32||Samiya Javed||Fall 2020|
|8327984210||N/A (1L)||2023||No pork, no alcohol|
|9/19/2020 18:26:19||Duriba Khan||Fall 2020|
|512-888-4284||UG GPA: 3.78||2023||Pescetarian|
|9/20/2020 2:37:12||Mackenzie Holst||Fall firstname.lastname@example.org||7149440374||3.76 undergrad||2023||none|
|9/20/2020 10:59:20||Taitum Wilson||Fall 2020|
4.00 (From undergraduate)
|9/20/2020 12:48:24||Austin Amos||Fall 2020|
Penicillin? Do you eat it? None
|9/20/2020 15:56:05||Benjamin Korinek||Fall 2020|
|9/20/2020 17:57:14||Alexandra Doney||Fall email@example.com||3159410743||2023||None|
|9/20/2020 18:01:31||Paola Limon||Fall 2020 / Spring firstname.lastname@example.org||(956) 215-0712||N/A||2021||N/A|
|9/20/2020 20:20:37||Sally Vandenberg||Fall 2020|
|9/20/2020 21:03:57||Sam Libby||Fall email@example.com||2145001478||n/a||2023||None|
|9/20/2020 22:11:13||Catharine Paul||Fall 2020/1L|
|9/21/2020 9:19:57||Nicholas Lowrey||Fall 2020|
|9/21/2020 9:54:06||Carolina Rivera||Fall firstname.lastname@example.org||361-944-3370||2022||None|
|9/21/2020 11:20:24||Kevin Roberts||Fall 2020|
|9/21/2020 11:26:34||Olivia Horton||Fall 2020|
|7138989647||2023||Allergic to nuts|
|9/21/2020 11:40:11||Anastasia Zaluckyj||fall 2020|
Robert Gavin Castañeda
|9/21/2020 11:46:24||Grace Thomas||Fall 2020|
|9/21/2020 11:55:48||Lauren Hatton||fall 2020|
|(512)680-2277||3.44||2022||No pork or beef|