The Texas A&M Public Interest Fellowship celebrates the recipients of the 2020-2021 Fellowship Stipend, who have represented the law school across Texas and abroad, as they continue to fundraise for the 2021-2022 Fellowship class.
The 2020-2021 Fellowship recipients were:
Jessica Mason, President – Tarrant County Criminal Courts, Office of Judicial Staff Counsel and Post-Conviction Writs
Evelyn Garcia Lopez, Vice President – Texas A&M School of Law Family and Veterans Advocacy Clinic
Teresa Reyes-Flores, Treasurer – Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
Destiny Rauschhuber, Secretary – U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of General Counsel
Lauren Hadley, Board Member – Arlington City Attorney’s Office and North Richland Hills City Attorney’s Office
Madison Ledoux, Board Member – Tarrant County Criminal Court Ten and the 323rd District Court
Joshua Stephens – 362nd Judicial District Court, Board Member
Olivia Countryman – U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Chamber of Chief Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn
Nayelly Dominguez – Texas A&M School of Law Tax Dispute Resolution Clinic
Lorraine Garcia – Texas Third Court of Appeals, Chamber of Justice Gisela Triana
Clare Mattione – Texas Legal Services Center, Virtual Self-Help Center
Sarah Abdel-Motaleb – Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP)
Bailey Buchmeyer – Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office
Tiffany Daniels – Texas A&M School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic
Amanda DeGroote – U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas
Minta Spears – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska
Marisela Gonzalez – Texas A&M School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic
The Texas A&M Public Interest Fellowship is a student-run organization devoted to raising awareness of legal work in the public interest sector. The program provides stipends for deserving law school students performing public interest work during the summer to furnish critical legal services to those in need. Many non-profit organizations and government institutions offer invaluable mentorship and experience for our students, but are often unable to provide paid positions for summer internships. Thus, the stipends allow Public Interest Fellows to take these unpaid positions and exemplify the Aggie core value of selfless service to the community, while also gaining practical legal experience.
This past year, TAMU Public Interest Fellows had the opportunity to intern in a variety of positions, from non-profits to government agencies:
Teresa Reyes-Flores spent last summer interning with the Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). During her time with KIND, she attended trainings on issues that the immigrant community, specifically unaccompanied children, face daily. She was able to work with attorneys and staff at KIND, which assured her of her career goals of working in the immigration law field, specifically in a non-profit setting.
Pictured above: Teresa Reyes-Flores, 3L and Treasurer of the Texas A&M Public Interest Law Fellowship, spent last summer with KIND in Houston, Texas.
Clare Mattione interned with the Virtual Self Help Center at Texas Legal Services Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal advice, advocacy, representation, and education to underserved people across the state in over 12 areas of civil law. Clare was absolutely critical in providing assistance to rural Texans dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19. In this position she was able to gain experience in housing and unemployment law, as well as family law, which she plans to practice post-graduation.
Pictured above: Clare Mattione, 3L, worked for the Virtual Self Help Center at Texas Legal Services last summer to provide aid to those struggling from COVID-19 related legal issues.
Sarah Abdel-Motaleb served as a law clerk with the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP). In this position, she was able to assist TCRP staff attorneys on a wide range of programs. Sarah’s experience with TCRP solidified her interest in working for a nonprofit that is grounded in partnerships with communities and aligns with her values, including anti-racism and prison abolition.
Pictured above: Sarah Abdel-Motaleb, 2L, worked with the TCRP last summer on legal issues and advocacy involving anti-racism and prison abolition.
In a typical year, the Texas A&M Public Interest Fellowship hosts a gala and auction in late January to both honor the current fellows and raise the necessary funds for the following year’s fellows through an auction. However, like many organizations, due to the impact of COVID-19, the Fellowship has been forced to make some major changes. Through this uncertain time, the Fellowship is committed to ensuring that students who are drawn to public interest work can pursue their laudable goals of working in public interest positions despite current economic circumstances.
The Fellowship is currently seeking monetary donations in lieu of their typical requests for auction items and table sponsorships. In the time of COVID-19, it is more essential than ever to assist these students so they may work at deserving nonprofit and public sector organizations.
For more information on how you can contribute to this student-run program, please reach out at email@example.com.