2013 Summer Law Clerks – STCRP – Alamo

Roberto Blum

Roberto Blum

I was born in Durango Mexico, a sparsely populated and mountainous state in northern Mexico. When I was very young my family moved to Brownsville, Texas, where I grew up and lived before going off to college. I graduated from Texas State University with a degree in economics, and I am currently attending Texas Tech University School of Law.

Last spring my brother and I climbed the Iztaccíhuatl Volcano near Mexico City. At just over 17,000 feet, it has been the highest peak I have ever attempted. It took over 12 hours to reach the summit and get back to our camp, but the effort was worth it. Seeing how tiny the world looks from that high up really puts into perspective many of the everyday-things that ordinarily seem complicated in life.

My future goals include clerking for a judge and developing a broad scope of legal experiences that will help me become the best possible lawyer I can be. I believe I have a duty to serve my community by putting my skills and knowledge to help those who are less fortunate than I am and can’t easily help themselves.

By clerking for TCRP this summer, I hope to help many people who are experiencing injustice and otherwise will not receive help from anyone else. I also seek to gain valuable real world experiences that will help to further develop the legal skills that I am currently learning in the classroom.


BrittaLisa Gess

BrittaLisa Gess

BrittaLisa grew up in Minnesota before moving to Seattle in 2005 to study at Seattle Pacific University. Majoring in Sociology and Islamic Studies with a minor in European Studies gave her the opportunity to travel through 21 countries studying language, politics, and religion. This travel, combined with the various volunteer and leadership roles she filled on campus led her to pursue a career in public interest law serving the immigrant community.

BrittaLisa gained experience as a volunteer legal assistant and later as a legal intern with The Housing Justice Project in Seattle assisting low-income renters facing eviction and as a civil rights intern with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She recently completed her second year at Hamline University School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she serves as the chair of the Committee for Culture & Diversity, an executive board member of the National Lawyers Guild, an editorial assistant for the Journal of Law & Religion and a Bakken Research Fellow focusing on the intersection of race and the law.

Her interests in constitutional law, specifically free speech issues, access of indigent clients to the legal system, and immigrant rights, compelled BrittaLisa to pursue a summer clerkship with TCRP in South Texas. This summer, she hopes to assist STCRP in its invaluable service to the surrounding community while improving upon her Spanish language skills and (hopefully) surviving the South Texas heat.


Juan Gonzalez

Juan Gonzalez

I am a native of Brownsville, Texas and currently attend Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. I am overjoyed that I have the opportunity to work with the South Texas Civil Rights Project and look forward to assisting in any manner possible. Civil rights issues are at the core of my studies at the Howard University School of Law and I strive to assist in the protection of those civil rights. I hope that through my time at the Texas Civil Rights Project I can more fully understand the processes necessary to defend the public against any civil rights violations.


Juan Villarreal

Juan Villarreal

I am originally from Laredo, Texas, and recently completed my first year at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. I graduated from St. Mary’s University in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. After graduating, I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work with various organizations that serve the most vulnerable populations in South Texas. My commitment to public service stems from the idea that those who have the ability help others in need have a duty to do so.

I chose to spend my summer at STCRP because I am interested in doing public interest work in an area similar to where I have spent most of my life. My main goal this summer is to familiarize myself with the issues affecting the indigent populations of South Texas and gain the most experience and knowledge that I possibly can while working here.

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