TAMU law clinic students draft report that drives state legislation

Posted by Texas A&M School of Law on Apr 8, 2021 7:20:41 AM

Drive Texas AdelanteTexas A&M School of Law Community Development Clinic students advocate for conditional driver's licenses for all Texans. A report completed by students, faculty and practicing attorneys in the fall supports the Drive Texas Adelante campaign, a coalition of organizations united by their desire to advance conditional driver’s permit legislation for undocumented Texans and other communities.

As a result, members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, Senate Hispanic Caucus, House State Affair Committee and Senate Transportation Committee will gather early April for a policy briefing at which Luz Herrera, TAMU Law professor and associate dean for experiential education, will speak. 

"Driver’s licenses help keep everyone safe. Now more than ever, we need to make sure everyone can stay safe on the roads while they care for neighbors and their families during the pandemic. Crowded trucks, vans, and buses are not recommended means of transportation," says a statement of support circulated by the Drive Texas Adelante campaign.

The campaign officially launched via Facebook early March and has been the catalyst for the creation of HB 1058 (Rep. Ramon Romero) and SB 608 (Carol Alvarado).

Texas A&M School of Law students Madeline Byers, Olivia Countryman, Taylor Garner and Crystal Hernandez and former TAMU Law adjunct professor Lisa Mares and Luz Herrera wrote the report, with financial analysis contributions from Ernesto Amaral, Texas A&M University sociology professor. 

"Researching the applicable law, speaking with advocates who work on the front lines of family violence intervention and hearing the stories of victims who will be directly impacted by this legislation is how I contributed to the reports," says student and 2022 JD candidate Taylor Garner. "I love that through the community development clinic, we are serving the local community and making a positive impact." 

Professor Luz Herrera also comments, "The students were asked to think broadly about who such a permit would benefit and how to make arguments that would help support the effort advanced by a number of community organizations that requested our assistance."

"Their work required multiple conversations, multiple drafts and an analysis of legislative efforts in Texas and other states. Advocates and policy makers that are involved in this effort have praised their contributions," she continues.

To connect with a report author or learn more about Texas A&M School of Law's clinic program, e-mail Professor Herrera.

View the Full TAMU Law Report

View the TAMU Law Executive Summary

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About the Texas A&M Law Community Development Clinic

The Community Development Clinic is a transactional real estate, nonprofit and public advocacy clinic that works on a range of legal issues related to promoting community development through social entrepreneurship, affordable housing and community advocacy. The clinic will work with individuals and nonprofits in underserved communities to counsel them on their legal rights and duties.

About Drive Texas Adelante

The Drive Texas Adelante campaign includes organizations from across Texas who believe that all Texans, regardless of immigration status and social economic background, should have access to drive.

Topics: Clinics, Luz Herrera, students, texas a&m school of law

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About Texas A&M School of Law

Texas A&M School of Law is an American Bar Association-accredited institution located in downtown Fort Worth. In 2013, Texas A&M acquired Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. Since integrating with Texas A&M seven years ago, the law school has sustained a remarkable upward trajectory by dramatically increasing entering class credentials, improving U.S. News and World Report rankings, hiring 30 new faculty members, adding 10 clinics and six global field study destinations and expanding the depth and breadth of its career services, student services, academic support and admissions functions.

For more information, visit law.tamu.edu.

About Texas A&M University

Texas A&M, established in 1876 as the first public university in Texas, is one of the nation’s largest universities with more than 66,000 students and more than 440,000 living alumni residing in over 150 countries around the world. A tier-one university, Texas A&M holds the rare triple land-, sea- and space-grant designation. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.

About Research at Texas A&M University

As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2016), based on expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.