View Archive of Past Law Clerk Reflections: 2010 – 2011
My experience at TCRP was very fulfilling. The attorneys gave me a variety of legal assignments, all of which stemmed from very compelling stories from clients. It is not often that attorneys get to do dynamic work that is also interesting. I also felt very lucky to have a supportive group of law clerks. We helped each other, making the work experience here feel like a team effort. It has been a busy summer. I feel confident that the work I did at TCRP, along with the attorneys’ guidance, has made me a better law student and will eventually help me become a better attorney.
I have gained a great sense of accomplishment in having filed my very own complaint. My client was a joy to work with. As a person with a hearing impairment, she had faced discrimination from an entity in which we usually put a lot of trust — her hospital. Over the last seven years, she has been going to the same hospital for her medical needs, requested an interpreter, but either been denied or otherwise deprived of one. From hearing about my fellow law students’ internships, I know that some of them are simply not getting the client interaction and control over the cases as I have. I appreciate the opportunity for hands-on experience because I think it’s one of the best ways to learn how to be an attorney.
At TCRP, I was able to work one-on-one with clients, write complex pleadings, and spearhead important policy projects. During my time here, I had the genuine sense that my work was pivotal to a number of cases. Most importantly, I received training that will be crucial for my career as a public interest attorney. I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend the past few months at TCRP learning from dedicated social justice advocates.
I feel so lucky to have been a part of TCRP this summer. I am especially grateful to the staff here for allowing the clerks to explore more areas of law than I thought possible in ten weeks. I’ve been able to take several lawsuits from intake to filing, respond to motions, and even organize a press conference. I also appreciate the high levels of client interaction. If a case went well, I got to see a real difference in clients’ lives, and even if a case seemed doomed, I got to fight for people who have been underrepresented their entire lives.
Denise D. Hernandez
My summer at TCRP has been a profound and rewarding experience. My legal assignments encompassed a variety of social justice issues, all of which involved severely underrepresented clients. I felt blessed being able to help these clients achieve equality through impact litigation. There is no doubt that my experience at TCRP has made me a better advocate for social justice and will help me be a passionate public interest attorney.
Joining the Texas Civil Rights Project has given me an opportunity to do substantive legal work that will have a long-term impact on the Texas justice system. My experiences in developing and filing cases for TCRP have been intellectually stimulating and rewarding.
My work with TCRP has been one of the best working experiences of my life, both personally and professionally. Professionally because in what felt like a very short time frame, I’ve learned how to write any number of documents that a lawyer must frequently work with, including complaints, motions, and discovery. However my work was even more personally rewarding, because I was able to participate in a very meaningful way in litigation that is on the forefront of the civil rights and social justice movements, and see the real, day-to-day impact on the lives of those in the communities TCRP works for when those rights are vindicated.
Volunteering at TCRP has been a wonderful whirlwind of experiences. While I’ve worked in several other public-interest settings, none have been as enlightening and enriching as TCRP. I chose to volunteer here in hopes of obtaining hands-on litigation experience — an expectation that was easily exceeded. From meeting with clients, to drafting complaints and motions, conducting discovery, to organizing a press conference, I felt as if my work played a vital role in the progress of numerous cases and had a direct impact on, not only our clients, but simultaneously on myself. Having the privilege to witness the TCRP attorneys’ continuing commitment to impact litigation gives me a model of something to strive for as I embark on my own public-interest law career.
Working with clients 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. During my clerkship at TCRP I have had the rewarding experience of interacting with clients and learning how impact litigation develops.
Working at TCRP this summer, I have gained invaluable skills that I will surely use as a future lawyer. I was able to develop, draft, and file a case for TCRP as well as work on a variety of legal assignments. I was also very lucky to work with a great group of law clerks that helped support each other through a very busy summer. My time at TCRP has been rewarding and made me a better advocate for the underrepresented.
While at TCRP, I worked on a variety of cases. I worked on several disability rights cases, including one against the City of Austin for equal access to parks and pools. The process of meeting with clients and hearing their stories was inspiring and I was I also particularly enjoyed getting to work on a Public Information Act request case for which we sued the City of Austin for a writ of mandamus. Getting to be involved in the case from its inception, to researching the case and writing the brief, and then being able to be at the trial was an amazing learning experience.
I have always been drawn to civil rights, and working with TCRP has given me fantastic opportunities for gaining hands-on experience. I’ve really felt ownership of my cases and have been able to do everything from initial investigations to drafting pleadings and motions. I’ve learned an incredible amount and feel that my work has helped to make a difference.
View Archive of Past Law Clerk Reflections: 2010 – 2011