6 Ways Baylor Law Students Learn Law and Service to Others
Baylor Law School has received national recognition countless times for the quality of its academic preparation, the quality of its graduates, for its value—and for the school’s service to others.
In the past few years alone, Baylor Law has earned six state and national awards for service, including the American Bar Association’s prestigious Pro Bono Publico Award in 2015 (one of just two schools so honored in 30 years) and the 2014 State Bar of Texas’ W. Frank Newton Award. Fittingly, the latter award—bestowed on those who display outstanding pro bono legal service to the poor—was named after Baylor graduate W. Frank Newton, BA ’66, JD ’77.
Service is an integral part of the Baylor Law School experience, built through numerous clinics and outreach efforts for students to interact with the community. At the beginning of each year, Law School Dean Brad Toben, JD ’77, reminds students that “the legal profession is a service profession.”
Clearly, Baylor Law students take that message to heart.
Here are six ways Baylor Law students use their training for the greater good:
- Veterans Clinic
Since 2012, Baylor students have provided free legal advice and assistance to veterans at monthly clinics in Waco. Last year, students drafted more than 45 wills for veterans and their families.
- Immigration Clinic
In the last five years, Baylor Law students have partnered with students from Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work to serve 300 low-income Waco residents with immigration needs and to help them obtain driver’s licenses and permission to work.
- Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic
Students and faculty help area entrepreneurs with patents, trademarks and other intellectual property matters. In many cases, their assistance helps budding businessmen and women facing financial need to get their ideas off the ground.
- People’s Law School
For more than a decade, law school students and faculty have partnered with local attorneys who volunteer their time to educate people about their legal rights and make the law more “user friendly,” all at no charge. The yearly event offers multiple courses for attendees to take based on their area of need or interest.
- Adoption Day
There may be no more emotional event at the Law School than Adoption Day. The Umphrey Law Center is the site for the annual McLennan County Adoption Day, where foster children and their soon-to-be parents are sworn in by a judge and united as families. Last year, 41 decrees of adoption were signed, officially creating forever families that have worked months or even years for the right to come together.
- Pro Bono work
The Law School’s Pro Bono and Public Service Program directs students to areas of need where their skills can help others. Students are challenged to provide at least 50 hours of pro bono service in areas such as Pro Bono Litigation and Transactional Teams, to provide assistance to help area residents avoid home foreclosures, draft wills and create estate planning documents. In recent years, students have donated thousands of hours to provide free legal service.