I am originally from Houston, and I am half way through my second year at Baylor Law School. I graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in psychology. My interest in working in public interest law began before I came to law school when I interned with Senator Kennedy. The Senator’s passion for fighting for disadvantaged Americans motivated me to seek out a service-oriented career. I am committed to developing a legal career that serves individuals and aims to solve larger-scale problems concerning the underprivileged. Therefore, TCRP seemed to fit my goals perfectly, as they work to protect individual rights while also resolving systematic problems. This summer, I am most looking forward to reaping the benefits of hands-on experience, including speaking with clients, improving my legal writing skills, and visiting prisons. I am also excited to take advantage of Austin’s good food (particularly, queso), off-leash dog parks, Alamo Drafthouse events, and live music. There’s nothing better than feeling like you are making the world a better place while also having an awesome summer in Austin, Texas!
I am originally from Caracas, Venezuela. I moved to the US when I was nine years old and I’ve lived in many different places since then. I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Duke University, majoring in Economics and minoring in German. I was awarded a yearlong fellowship to teach English at a small boarding school in the south of Germany. I took the LSAT in Munich and I applied to law schools from Germany. I went to law school with the intention of practicing immigration law and I currently attend Boston College Law School. I have happily fallen into public interest work and I have had the opportunity to work in not just immigration law, but also housing and family law for the underprivileged. I have really enjoyed the probono work that I have gotten to do through Lutheran Social Services (immigration), Neighborhood Legal Services (housing, family, immigration), Kids in Need of Defense (immigration), and the Boston College Immigration and Asylum clinic. I am looking forward to working with TCRP on issues to which I haven’t had much exposure. My family lives in Houston and since I’m working at TCRP this summer for credit, I’ll be graduating in December and taking the Texas Bar in February. I hope to have a continuing relationship with TCRP and the very urgent and relevant social problems that they battle.
I’m from southern California, majored in philosophy at UCLA, and just finished my first year at Yale Law School. In college, I worked with indigent children in Los Angeles and Delhi, which inspired me to pursue a career as a public interest lawyer. At Yale, I have been able to explore different areas of public interest law through classes, projects, and a clinic. The experience I found most compelling was working with clients incarcerated at Connecticut’s super-maximum security prison. I joined TCRP to continue working for the rights of marginalized communities. I am excited to learn about prisoners’ rights law in Texas, and to work on other civil rights issues that are completely new to me—such as disability rights and police misconduct. I’m also excited to spend time in Austin and to eat good Mexican food again (Connecticut doesn’t know what it’s doing).
Denise D. Hernandez
I was born in San Antonio, Texas but raised in the great city of Houston. I eventually made my way back to San Antonio where I received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of the Incarnate Word. As a first-generation American and first-generation college graduate, the importance of giving back to the community has been deeply instilled into my core values. What started as a simple family teaching soon became a strong vocational calling, which led me straight to Lubbock, Texas where I am now a 3L at the Texas Tech School of Law. Being in law school has solidified my commitment to social justice and public interest work. This is why I chose to clerk for the Texas Civil Rights Project because TCRP represents my core values as a Hispanic law student. TCRP is truly dedicated to community outreach and fighting for the underrepresented, and I know working for such an amazing organization will help me become a better advocate for social justice.
I am a 2L at the University of Michigan Law School, with a BA in both Communication Studies and Business from Southwestern University. My personal experiences as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic coupled with the experience of being a New Orleans resident during Hurricane Katrina and eventually as a displaced evacuee, impassioned my academic interests revolving issues of social justice. My experiences highlighted the disparity that exists between law and access to justice, and thus solidified my interest in pursuing a career in the legal field. I joined the Texas Civil Rights Project because I saw that it gave me an opportunity to advocate for those voices which our justice system tends to pass over, as well as a chance to do substantive legal work aimed at promoting equity and stability for underrepresented groups within our community.
I am originally from Brooklyn, New York and just finished my second year at the George Washington University School of Law in Washington D.C. I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and a citation in Spanish. This summer I am working at TCRP in Austin for the opportunity to put my legal knowledge and skills to immediate use serving those who need legal assistance most. Last summer I worked with STCRP in Alamo and had an incredible experience working on both civil rights and economic justice cases. This summer I will be working on more ADA and prison justice cases and hope to continue learning how to become a practicing lawyer.
I am originally from Dallas, Texas and just finished my second year of law school at Southern Methodist University. I was originally drawn to TCRP because of the intense passion and dedication that the TCRP attorneys exude in their practice – something I hope to emulate in my own public interest career. My interest lies primarily in disability rights, which initially extends from my experiences volunteering with the Special Needs Soccer Association in Missouri as a Division I Women’s Soccer player for Saint Louis University. After graduating with degrees in communication and English, I joined the Marianist Volunteer Program, through which I served as a social worker for adults with developmental disabilities and lived in community with five other volunteers in North St. Louis. Above all else, I am most excited to be a part of the immense impact TCRP continues to make in the lives of so many.
I originally hail from Colchester, Vermont, but will be starting my third year of law school at American University this fall. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont, majoring in anthropology and history. I went to law school with the intention of working in public interest law. Interning at TCRP is an excellent way for me to improve my understanding of civil rights law. I look forward to learning how cases develop from the ground up and experiencing the inner workings of an organization that covers such a wide variety of civil rights issues. At a previous internship, I worked on a case involving detention conditions in a prison. That case led to an interest in prisoners’ rights and brought me to TCRP. My interest in representing underserved populations, such as prisoners, stems from my time teaching sailing at a community sailing center. Working at the community sailing center showed me how rewarding it is to work for an organization that helps people access opportunities that were previously unavailable to them.
I’m originally from Austin and received my BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. I currently attend St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas where I will be a 3L in the fall. Before law school, I interned at the U.S. Department of State where I was able to work on a variety of issues including human trafficking. During my time at St. Mary’s, I worked at the Center for Legal and Social Justice in the Immigration and Human Rights clinic. I worked on several cases including battered immigrant women, asylum, and unaccompanied immigrant children. I’m excited for my time at TCRP where I hope to learn more about the legal issues that TCRP focuses on and to expand my interest in public interest law.
I am originally from Perrysburg, Ohio and just finished my first year of law school at the University of Texas in Austin. I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in public policy from the Ford School of Public Policy. During college I interned with nonprofits in Washington, DC that were focused on international conflict resolution and social enterprise around the world. After college I worked in nonprofit consulting in Cambridge, MA, legal aid in Ohio, and interned with an English-language TV news channel in New Delhi, India. I have always been interested in litigation and TCRP allows me to explore civil rights law in depth. I hope to continue working in this area in my career. While at the law school, I am involved with Street Law and the Women’s Law Caucus. In my free time, I enjoy yoga, cooking, and honing my competitive skills at bar trivia.
I am from The Woodlands, Texas and just completed my first year at the University of Texas School of Law. Since graduating from Boston University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, I have spent the past four years working with human rights and social justice organizations in Washington, DC. I developed a passion for creating change through legal systems while studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland and Niamey, Niger and my experiences in campaign-based advocacy led me to pursue a career as a public interest lawyer.