News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
May 18, 2021

Texas Access to Justice Foundation Sponsors four Equal Justice Works Fellows in public interest law projects across Texas

Fellows will spend two years at legal aid organizations working to increase access to justice

AUSTIN, Texas –  The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (TAJF), which provides grant funding for civil legal aid in Texas, today announced its sponsorship of four Fellows in the 2021 Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellowship program––a national opportunity for law school graduates to launch their careers through public interest law projects of their own creation.

“Every year, Equal Justice Works Fellows create advanced projects that help address the unmet legal needs for Texas communities,” said Betty Balli Torres, executive director at TAJF. “We’re proud to provide support to our four Fellows as they begin careers in providing critical civil legal aid services to those in need and from their very own communities.”

Over the next two years, the four TAJF-sponsored Fellows will complete their projects in various cities across Texas and will be hosted by civil legal aid organizations funded by TAJF. These projects were personally designed by each Fellow to address a wide range of legal issues specific to the community they will be serving in.

The four TAJF-sponsored Fellows, their service area and the focus of their individual projects are:

  • Hope Bettler, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Del Rio – Provide direct legal services for citizens in rural Texas border communities facing obstacles to obtaining proof of identity and citizenship as part of the Richard L. Tate Rural Justice Fellowship program.

  • Leila Blatt, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Austin – Defend low-income Black families in the greater Austin area against aggressive child protective services interventions through direct representation, relationship building and community education. Blatt’s fellowship is co-sponsored with GreenbergTraurig LLP.

  • Claire Brown, Catholic Charities Dallas Immigration Legal Services, Dallas – Provide appellate representation to detained indigent immigrants in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas with a focus on direct representation, pro se education and pro bono attorney training.

  • Chelsea Klumpp, University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic, Houston –Advocate on behalf of indigent non-citizens in Texas by bringing their complex immigration matters to federal courts.

For a complete list of the 2021 Equal Justice Works Fellows, host organizations and sponsors, please click here.

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About the Texas Access to Justice Foundation

The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (www.tajf.org), created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the primary state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to approximately 150,000 Texas families each year.

About Equal Justice Works
Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. We bring together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of our Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country.

 

Contact: Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104
kschmitt@teajf.org

 

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