Enthusiastic Response for People's Law School at Baylor
by Alan Hunt, (254) 710-6271
More than 120 members of the public from the Waco and Central Texas area braved Saturday morning's wet, blustery weather to attend the first People's Law School hosted by Baylor Law School.
Professor Patricia Wilson and law student Mollie C. McGraw, coordinators of the program, said they were extremely pleased by the public support for the event. "People came in from the rain and were standing in line to register long before the scheduled time," said Wilson. "We are very pleased by the response."
Free and open to the public, the People's Law School offered a half-day curriculum featuring volunteer attorneys and legal experts who taught courses designed to educate consumers about their legal rights and to make the law "user friendly." Baylor Law School plans to sponsor the program annually for the Central Texas community.
Members of the public traveled from communities across Central Texas to attend the four-hour program. Participants could attend any two courses of their choice from the 12, hour-long courses offered. The courses focused on useful issues such as consumer rights, small businesses, landlord/tenant rights, health insurance, bankruptcy, retirement planning, wills, elder law, employment law, and family law. The most popular courses were landlord/tenant rights; wills and estate planning; and employment law.
Small business owner Jason J. Fedelem drove from his home in Temple to attend the wills and estate planning course, and the landlord/tenant rights course. "I am going to get married soon and the wills and estate planning course is important," he said. "I also hope to become a landlord and I signed up for that course, as well."
Another participant, Lynne Badger, has been employed by the State of Texas for the past 12 years as an investigator with Child Protective Services. "I am interested in many different issues that may affect me, my family and the clients I work with," she said, expressing her appreciation for the "wonderful" concept of the People's Law School program.
Among the instructors was El Paso attorney Steve James, chair of the Consumer Law Council, a section of the State Bar of Texas. The Center for Consumer Law was among the sponsors of the People's Law School. Other sponsors included Shipley Do-Nuts; Daniel Blue Print Co.; UBS Bookstore; the Campbell, Cherry, Harrison, Davis & Dove law firm; Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association; KWBU; and Baylor University.
Other instructors included Craig Cherry, John Fugate, Laura Swann, Tim Corwin, Merrilee Harmon, Matt Cordon, Charles Levy, Judge Joe Meadows, Shad Robinson, Glynn Beaty, Jeff Armstrong, and Elisa Rainey.
Said Professor Wilson, "We owe the success of this event to the local lawyers who taught the courses, our sponsors whose generous contributions made this event possible, and the student volunteers who were available to do whatever we needed in preparation for the People's Law School.
"We received many favorable comments from the attendees about the courses we offered and the local lawyers who taught them. Several commented that they wished they'd been able to take more courses."