The Texas Access to Justice Commission and the nine Texas law schools created the Access to Justice Internship Program in 2006 to encourage more students to help address the legal problems of underserved individuals and communities and educate future attorneys about those problems. The Access to Justice Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for law students to participate in an internship with non-profit providers of civil legal services located in areas without a local law school. The goals are to encourage more students to help address the legal problems of underserved individuals and communities, and to educate future attorneys about those problems. Each law student will receive hands-on training by working with accomplished lawyers, providing direct legal services to low-income clients, while learning about access to justice matters, legal decision-making, advocacy skills, attorney-client relationships, and legal institutions. Each supervising attorney will provide the law student with a variety of experiences and assignments, including significant research and writing.
The Commission has partnered with several legal services programs. The internships were open to law school students attending law school throughout the country; however, preference was given to applicants from Texas law schools. A stipend of $500/week (a lump sum of $5,000) was provided to every student to help defray living expenses. Students committed to a 10-week placement. Internship participants were recognized on the Commission's website, in press releases, print publications, and in local law school media releases.
Watch this video highlighting the real-life experiences of law students participating in internships and fellowships to help meet the basic civil legal needs of Texas' poor.